Sgt. Barnes: Talking about killing? Hmm? Y’all experts? Y’all know ’bout killing? I’d like to hear about it, potheads. [takes pipe and inhales drag] Why do you smoke this shit? So as to escape from reality? Me, I don’t need this shit. [beat] I am reality. There’s the way it ought to be. And there’s the way it is. Elias was full of shit. Elias was a crusader. Now, I got no fight with any man who does what he’s told, but when he don’t, the machine breaks down. And when the machine breaks down, we break down. And I ain’t gonna allow that in any of you. Not one. [beat] Y’all love Elias. Oh, you wanna kick ass. Yeah. Well, here I am, all by my lonesome, and ain’t nobody gonna know. Six of you boys against me. Kill me. [beat] I shit on all of you.
I think I first saw this film when I was in High School. If I remember correctly, I rented it because I was going through a Willem Dafoe phase (yes, really). My mother watched it with me because she had really enjoyed the film when it first came out. Then she told me about how she’d seen the real Ron Kovic speak at an event once and she thought Cruise had really captured his spirit. There’s a lot of themes in this movie; because it is directed by Oliver Stone, it isn’t particularly subtle with its point of view. But, from what I gather, neither was Ron Kovic. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two: Best Sound, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing (Won), Best Actor, Best Director (won), Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were Dead Poets Society, Field of Dreams, My Left Foot and winner Driving Miss Daisy.