Gardens of Stone
The story of the war at home, and the people who lived through it.
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- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 52 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: July 11, 2017
- Originally Released: 1987
- Label: Mill Creek Entertainment
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.85
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||James Caan, Anjelica Huston, James Earl Jones, D.B. Sweeney, Dean Stockwell & Mary Stuart Masterson|
|Performer:||Casey Siemaszko, Dick Anthony Williams, Lonette McKee, Sam Bottoms, Elias Koteas, Peter Masterson, Carlin Glynn, Erik Holland, Bill Graham & Laurence Fishburne|
|Directed by||Francis Ford Coppola|
|Edited by||Barry Malkin|
|Screenplay by||Ronald Bass|
|Composition by||Carmine Coppola|
|Produced by||Francis Ford Coppola & Michael I. Levy|
|Director of Photography:||Jordan Cronenweth|
...A compassionate study....It is a passionate impasse, played out by full, good characters and fine performers....GARDENS OF STONE'S intelligence and its unsimple characters make it a notable attempt to deal with that war...
Los Angeles Times
Rating: B+ -- Subtle and elegiac, Coppola's anti-Vietnam War meditation is one of the director's most misunderstood films. Full Review
Rating: B -- Subdued war drama on life on the home front during the Vietnam war. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
For want of a timeless message on the horrors of war, Coppola does indeed tell a compelling story of one man's battle on the homefront. Caan gives a stunning performance after a five-year absence from the movie screen. Full Review
United Press International
A handsome but fragmentary film that can't decide which story to tell. Full Review
Rating: 3/4 -- Unjustly underrated upon its release, Gardens of Stone is a quiet, respectful film filled with emotional power, exceptional acting (especially by Caan), and technical virtuosity. Full Review
...[The] production values are first-rate with longtime collaborator Dean Tavoularis' production design evoking the mood of the times. Jordan Cronenweht's cinematography is dark and suggestive...
GARDENS OF STONE is Francis Ford Coppola's poetic tribute to the men who form the Old Guard, soldiers in charge of burying the dead at Arlington National Cemetery during the war in Vietnam. Clell Hazard (James Caan), an army sergeant who opposes the war because he believes it can't be won, becomes attached to a battle-hungry young soldier, Jackie Willow (D. B. Sweeney). Hazard knows the reality the youth will encounter if he goes to Vietnam, after serving two tours himself. His girlfriend, Washington reporter Samantha Davis (Anjelica Huston), also opposes the war, but for different reasons. Feeling useless in the Old Guard, Hazard requests a transfer to Fort Bragg, where he can help prepare the young soldiers for what they must face in Vietnam. Jackie is reunited with his girlfriend, Rachel (Mary Stuart Masterson), whose father, a retired colonel (played by Masterson's real-life father, Peter Masterson), sees the war as a commercial opportunity. James Earl Jones is a show-stealer as Goody Nelson, Hazard's best friend and voice of reason. The film's scenes of military burials--drills carried out with precision and ritual--are beautiful to watch.
James Caan plays Clell Hazard, a sergeant assigned to the Old Guard, soldiers in charge of burying the dead at Arlington National Cemetery in 1968. After serving in Vietnam, he believes the war is not winnable, so when young soldier Jackie Willow (D. B. Sweeney) wants to be sent there, Hazard and friend Goody Nelson (James Earl Jones) try to dissuade him. Hazard's girlfriend, Samantha (Anjelica Huston), is a liberal Washington reporter who also opposes the war. The military drills that make up the burial ceremonies serve as a bittersweet backdrop to the story.
- Shot in DeLuxe color.
- Title design by Colossal Pictures, Inc. and opticals by Cinema Research Corporation.
- "Special thanks to the Honor Guards and Bands of all Services: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, for their pride and devotion in attending the last call for their fallen comrades at Arlington National Cemetery."
- The film is dedicated to the 3rd U.S. Infantry, the Old Guard of The Army, Ft. Myer, Virginia.
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