6.8/10
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61 user 26 critic

Taps (1981)

PG | | Drama | 25 December 1981 (USA)
Trailer
2:25 | Trailer
Military cadets take extreme measures to ensure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.

Director:

Harold Becker

Writers:

Darryl Ponicsan (screenplay), Robert Mark Kamen (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... General Harlan Bache
Timothy Hutton ... Brian Moreland
Ronny Cox ... Colonel Kerby
Sean Penn ... Alex Dwyer
Tom Cruise ... David Shawn
Brendan Ward Brendan Ward ... Charlie Auden
Evan Handler ... Edward West
John P. Navin Jr. ... Derek Mellott
Billy Van Zandt ... Bug
Giancarlo Esposito ... J.C. Pierce
Donald Kimmel ... Billy Harris
Tim Wahrer Tim Wahrer ... John Cooper
Tim Riley Tim Riley ... Hulk
Jeff Rochlin Jeff Rochlin ... Shovel
Rusty Jacobs Rusty Jacobs ... Rusty
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Storyline

An announcement that the venerable Bunker Hill Military Academy, a 141 year old institute, is to be torn down and replaced with condos sets off the young cadets led by their stodgy commander. Under the command of a student cadet major, the cadets seize the campus, refuse entry of the construction crews and ultimately confront the real military. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This school is our home, we think it's worth defending. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Taps See more »

Filming Locations:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$93,005, 13 December 1981

Gross USA:

$35,856,053

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$35,856,053
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Prior to the production of the film, the key actors -Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise and others - were required to participate in a 45-day-long period of orientation with the students of Valley Forge Military Academy. They were given uniforms, borrowed from their real life counterparts at the school and given authentic military haircuts. They slept in campus barracks and were subjected to the same rigors and hardship that all Valley Forge cadets went through. While most of the actors enjoyed and excelled at their orientation, Cruise opted to leave the training for the comforts of a nearby hotel until filming began. See more »

Goofs

When taking inventory of the armory, the man counting the weapons states they are ".45 millimeter caliber 1911's". M1911 pistols are .45 caliber, meaning the bore is .45 inches in diameter, and not the metric measurement of 45 millimeters (a significantly larger measurement, to the point where they would be classed as artillery, rather than small arms). In countries which issued the M1911 (or copies), and to whom the Metric system was common, the cartridge was referred to as 11.43x23mm. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Kerby: You're not a soldier! I'm a soldier, with the career goal of all soldiers - staying alive in situations where it ain't all that easy to do! You're a death-lover. Some sorry son of a bitch has got you convinced that dying for a cause is oh, so romantic. Well, that's the worst kind of all the kinds of bullshit there is!
See more »


Soundtracks

Slow Hand
Written by Michael Clark and John Bettis
Performed by The Pointer Sisters
See more »

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User Reviews

Once upon a time during the Cold War
4 August 2001 | by dcs84See all my reviews

I first saw Taps when I was only 11 and I loved it. But at eleven I liked it for its militaristic attributes rather than its 'fight for honour' motif.

I recently, aged 31, saw it again, and, predictably, liked it for entirely different reasons. Firstly, as someone else on this sight mentioned, the film is quite beautiful to look at. The cinematography is quite stunning actually, and if you don't believe me, watch it again. Secondly the direction, writing, and editing is tight, controlled and technically fairly solid.

But what made this film for me was the impressive, inspired acting by the, at the time, young cast. I was captivated by the core trio of Cruise, Penn, and Hutton. If charisma were a concrete substance these three would have garbage bags of the stuff stowed in their cupboards.

The script was thoughtful, and, importantly, believable. The ending was very powerful......when I was eleven, but once seen, lost it's effect on subsequent viewings.


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