Gardens of Stone
|Gardens of Stone|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Francis Coppola|
|Produced by||Francis Coppola
Michael I. Levy
|Written by||Ronald Bass
(screenplay)<br Nicholas Proffitt
James Earl Jones
D. B. Sweeney
Mary Stuart Masterson
|Music by||Carmine Coppola|
|Edited by||Barry Malkin|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
Gardens of Stone is a 1987 American drama film directed by Francis Coppola, based on the novel of the same title by Nicholas Proffitt. It stars James Caan, Anjelica Huston, James Earl Jones and D. B. Sweeney.
A hardened Korean and Vietnam War veteran, Sergeant Clell Hazard (James Caan) would rather be an instructor at the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, to train soldiers for Vietnam but instead he is assigned by the Army to the 1st battalion 3d Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) at Fort Myer, Virginia.
Hazard is divorced and hasn't seen his son in years due to the bitter divorce. After Willow's father, who is a retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant and a former Korean War comrade in arms of Hazard's as well Sgt. Major Nelson's, dies of a heart attack, Hazard comes to look upon Willow as a "son." He tries to teach Willow all he can about soldiering and surviving in combat.
Willow in turn tries to teach his platoon mate Private Albert Wildman, a chronic screw-up, how to be a soldier. Wildman is later ordered to Vietnam, where he distinguishes himself as a heroic soldier and effective combat infantryman. He returns from Vietnam promoted to the rank of Sergeant and is a recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroism in combat. Sgt. Flanagan (Larry Fishburne), a fellow member of Sgt. Hazard's platoon, receives his orders for Vietnam at the same time.
As he walks away, he receives a customary salute due to all MOH recipients from his old lieutenant, in the unusual situation of an officer saluting an enlisted person. Wildman smarts off at by asking "what the fuck are you looking at?", showing he had finally become an assertive soldier.
The film ends with military honors being rendered at Willow's graveside at Arlington and Hazard speaking to the mourners prior to the firing of the rifle salute and the playing of "Taps".
|James Caan||Sergeant First Class Clell Hazard, Platoon Sergeant|
|Anjelica Huston||Samantha Davis|
|James Earl Jones||Sgt. Major "Goody" Nelson, Regimental Sergeant Major|
|D. B. Sweeney||Specialist/Sergeant/2LT Jack "Jackie" Willow, Honor Guardsman|
|Dean Stockwell||Captain Homer Thomas, Sgt. Hazard's Company Commander|
|Mary Stuart Masterson||Rachel Feld|
|Dick Anthony Williams||First Sergeant R. "Slasher" Williams, Company First "Top" Sergeant|
|Lonette McKee||Betty Rae, Sgt. Major Nelson's wife|
|Sam Bottoms||1LT Lieutenant Webber, Sgt. Hazard's Platoon Leader|
|Elias Koteas||Specialist Pete Deveber, Company Clerk|
|Larry Fishburne||Sergeant Flanagan, Jack Willow's Squad Leader|
|Casey Siemaszko||Sergeant Albert Wildman, Jack's friend in the platoon|
|Peter Masterson||Colonel Feld|
|Carlin Glynn||Mrs. Feld|
The movie had a limited release (612 theaters) and end up grossing $5,262,047. According to Box Office Mojo the movie also made $1,645,588 on its opening weekend. Thus, failing at the box office.
Replacement of Griffin O'Neal
Griffin O'Neal was initially cast in Gardens of Stone to play Pete Deveber, but was replaced by Elias Koteas after his involvement in the accidental speedboating death of Coppola's eldest son, Gian-Carlo Coppola, in May 1986.
- "15th Moscow International Film Festival (1987)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
- Tatum O'Neal, A Paper Life, 0-060-75102-9 p. 158
- Gardens of Stone at the Internet Movie Database
- Gardens of Stone at AllMovie
- Gardens of Stone at Rotten Tomatoes
- Movie stills