This is one of those movies that I have seen so many times I don’t have an accurate count. It’s also one that I mostly watched edited on television, so when I watched it for the first time on DVD there were so many things that had either been cut out for time or censored for content; it was shocking. Moral of the story: make sure you watch this movie on DVD. My mother and I always joke about how if this movie is on television, no matter what we are doing, we will leave it on because we just have to see that ending scene. It’s definitely one of the greatest endings in film history. A Few Good Men was nominated for four Academy Awards, though it failed to win any: Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Supporting Actor Jack Nicholson and Best Picture. Rob Reiner failed to receive a Best Director nomination despite the Best Picture nod. His place went to Robert Altman for The Player, which failed to receive a Best Picture nomination. Always strange when that happens. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were: The Crying Game, Howard’s End, Scent of a Woman and winner Unforgiven.
I hadn’t seen this movie until last weekend. I have no idea why I waited so long to see it. I mean, it has a stellar cast and Clint Eastwood is a favorite of mine (as a writer and a director). It’s also based on Dennis Lehane novel (who also wrote the novels on which Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone were based), with a screenplay written by Brian Helgeland (who shares an Oscar with Curtis Hanson for their on L.A. Confidential). Despite all of that, it took me nearly a decade to actually watch the film. Boy was it worth the wait. It’s probably one of the most tense films I’d ever seen. It was nominated for six Oscars winning two: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress Marcia Gay Harden, Best Supporting Actor Tim Robbins (won), Best Actor Sean Penn (won), Best Director and Best Picture. Incidentally, this was the first time Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor had come from the same film since 1959’s Ben-Hur. The other films up for Best Picture that year were Lost in Translation, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Seabiscuit and winner The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Ren: You like Men At Work?
Willard: What men?
Ren: Men at work.
Willard: Well where do they work?
Ren: No, they’re a music group.
Willard: Well what do they call themselves?
Ren: Oh no! What about the Police?
Willard: What about ’em?
Ren: You ever heard them?
Willard: No, but I seen them.
Ren: Where, in concert?
Willard: No, behind you.