11/10/2010

Forgotten Gem: Biloxi Blues (1988)

I'm going to assume that everyone is aware of Neil Simon yes? You know, the obscenely talented American playwright and screenwriter who has given the world some of the most celebrated and popular plays? If you don't, don't worry because that's what Wikipedia is for. Anyway, Biloxi Blues is the second part of Simon's Eugene Trilogy, a series loosely based on Simon's own youth. The play was a Broadway hit in 1985 and the film version came along in 1988, starring Christopher Walken and Matthew Broderick, who played the character on the stage. Trailer time.


Biloxi Blues is one of those army/war movies that actually doesn't feature any deaths or warfare and instead focuses on the training, boredom and relationships between the young men. I discovered this because when I was younger we only had one TV and we had to watch whatever the mother put on. Amazingly, I really liked it and we still have the VHS copy. Suck it, Blu Ray.

It's funny without providing overwhelming guffaws and manages to seemingly depict a realistic view of the things that go on in army barracks. It's directed by Mike Nichols whom I adore, it shows those idiots who only know Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller that his career is full of greatness and it co-stars this man...

I can't imagine a more terrifying sergeant than one played by Christopher Walken and at points it does look like Broderick has actually shit himself. And no, he doesn't tap dance. We can't have it all.