Thursday, September 20, 2012


#2 - TAPS


SUMMARY (Skip if you don’t want Spoilers)

Based on the 1979 novel Father Sky, by Devery Freeman.

A famous military academy is about to be shut down and turned into condominiums.  And one student, Brian Moreland, will not let it go without a fight.  After having their General taken in by the police on an accidental shooting on the campus that resulted in a death, Moreland resolves to do right by the man that he admires and respects.  In an attempt to keep the school, he rallies the younger students to him and they take Bunker Hill Academy under siege and lock it down from those who would bow to the wishes of their supposedly esteemed leaders.

George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn, and Tom Cruise star in this movie about fighting for what you believe in, no matter the cost, no matter the sacrifice.


As I watched this, I couldn’t help but be amazed, once more, by the amazing acting talent of Timothy Hutton.  Though Sean Penn and Tom Cruise co-star, both of them lack the natural grace and subtle, powerful confidence that Hutton portrays in his role as their senior officer, and it makes him appear as though he is more of a seasoned veteran than they are, and instead more on the same level as George C. Scott. (see Below for picture of Hutton and Scott)


This movie was one of those wonderful harmonies of actors, director, script, and story.  Along with George C. Scott, who portrays the commanding officer, we are given a true gem of amazing talents from many different people.   There is a special determination in it, and I could feel my heart joining with the young men who were defending their school.  The silent strength of Hutton’s portrayal of Brian Moreland is on par with Scott’s character of Brigadier General Harlan Bache, and got him nominated for a Golden Globe, which I feel he should have won. (not that I’m biased or anything)

Throughout the movie, I was able to see the stark difference between Moreland and the rest of the cadets.  They are all following Moreland and looking to him to pull him through, but as an audience we are shown the other side of this leader, one that is vulnerable, but through that we are able to more fully able to understand his strength and his belief that what he is doing is right.

Every single time the tune of Taps was played, I felt my heart in my throat and my eyes swelling with unshed tears, which, at times, escaped.  There is a feeling of absolute dedication to honor throughout the film, interspersed with crass, military language as a dark, comedic relief.  As I watched it, I felt a new perspective emerge that I had never seen before.  I could literally feel the breaking of convictions, the wavering of Moreland’s doubt…the devastating sadness that overcame him.  This is a film that kept in tears almost constantly, but it was worth every moment.

There is a true lesson in this, one that seems to say to me, Do the honorable thing...but don’t forget who you’re doing it for.  It may say other things to other people, but the message to me is loud and clear, as well as being quite beautiful.

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