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Taps

By Marshall Fine

Memorable mostly as the film that introduced filmgoers to Tom Cruise and Sean Penn, both of whom nearly steal the film from its nominal star, Timothy Hutton. Hutton, fresh from his Oscar for Ordinary People, plays the top cadet at a private military school run by George C. Scott. When the announcement is made that the school will be closed, the inmates take over the asylum with military precision. Hutton is caught among his sense of duty to mentor Scott, the rabid militarism of cadet Cruise, and the rational arguments of Penn, as Hutton's best friend. Then a cadet kills one of the cops responding to the crisis, and suddenly this game of playing soldiers takes on a warlike atmosphere. But director Harold Becker can't hold it together; Hutton isn't up to carrying the film, and the tension rapidly drains from the Darryl Ponicsan script.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Harold Becker

Stars: Timothy Hutton, George C. Scott, Ronny Cox, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise, Brendan Ward

Released: December 11, 1981

Availability: DVD VHS


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