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Buffalo Soldiers 2001

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3.9 out of 5 stars (31) IMDb 6.9/10
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Gregor Jordan's film takes place in Germany during the last days of the Cold War. Stuck on duty as Batallion Clerk at a US Army base in West Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ray Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) maintains a lucrative sideline in blackmarket trade under the nose of his superiors - and is even sleeping with the wife of his boss, Colonel Berman (Ed Harris). Things begin to change, however, when a new sergeant (Scott Glenn) arrives and tries to clean up the base. Elwood thinks he can handle anything, even the sergeant's daughter (Anna Paquin), but he doesn't realise who he is up against.

Starring:
Scott Glenn, Elizabeth McGovern
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 34 minutes
Starring Scott Glenn, Elizabeth McGovern, Dean Stockwell, Gabriel Mann, Anna Paquin, Joaquin Phoenix, Leon, Ed Harris
Director Gregor Jordan
Genres Comedy
Studio 4DVD
Rental release 29 December 2003
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Buffalo Soldiers is an original film with a wonderfully sharp script. Set during the demise of the Berlin Wall in an army base in Germany, Elwood (Phoenix) is in to making money by whatever means he can. He has no respect for the army and even less for authority.
In comes Elwood's sadistic new CO (Scott Glenn) who takes an instant dislike to him. In retaliation to the CO's resulting act's, Elwood starts to date his daughter (Anna Paquin) and what was a game to Elwood quickly becomes very serious.
As Elwood struggles to keep a grip on the ensuing situations, drugged up soldiers provide a surprising comedy aspect and you find yourself smiling (or even laughing) at some quite horrific things. The film gives off a real sense of doom as you wait for something really bad to happen, and even though undeserving, you find yourself rooting for Elwood.
This film is a refreshing and welcome change to the usual American soldier portrayal (which is probably why it didn't do so well in the US) and the superb supporting cast (Ed Harris was originally offered the part of the CO but wanted the part of the soft-hearted military man) along with the witty dialogue and awesome soundtrack makes this film a must buy for me. It won't be everyone's cuppa, so I will not tell you to be fooled by any bad reviews. If in doubt, rent it first.........then BUY IT!!!!
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Format: DVD
In a summer crowded with huge scale blockbuster movies desgined to 'wow' you with spectacle, it always refreshing when a small scale film comes along and lays all the blockbusters to bed because basically, its just better.
Buffalo soldiers is a black comedy of the highest calibre, set on an American base in Germany around the fall of the Berlin wall. However, rather than taking the usual path of portraying american soldiers as patriotic ultra-commandos, we get an image of some very bored layabouts with some VERY big drugs problems.
Focusing around the central character of Ray Elwood (a career best for the fantastic Joaquin Phoenix), the soldier who will deal in absolutely anything to get himself some money, the plot quickly turns nasty. When a new First Sergeant arrives on the base and starts to take a dislike to Elwood (not helped by the fact that he's going out with his daughter, the lovely Anna Paquin). What follows is an escalating spiral of spite and revenge as Elwood begins to realise the dangers of his chosen professions, both dealer and soldier.
With a superb supporting cast (including Ed Harris playing, for once, a soft-hearted military man, and Scott Glen as Elwood's nemesis) and razor sharp wit, this film takes you into army life as you've never seen it before. Frequently swinging between hilarity (a tank full of junkies mindlessly plowing a German town into the ground), and horrific (said tank eventually plowing into a petrolo station and killing a fair few people doing so), its not suprising that this film didn't perform too well in America.
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Format: DVD
A satire of the blackest hue featuring a raft of great performances, most notably Ed Harris, hilarious as a henpecked, incompetent officer. Not to be taken too seriously as a portrait of the US army (think Bilko on acid), but nonetheless hilarious viewing.
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By A Customer on 26 April 2005
Format: DVD
This film is a brilliant work of art. Set during the demise of communisms in Eastern Europe, a reluctant solider Elwood (Phoenix.) who has decided to make his money buy stealing from the army and selling to the mafia. Even managing to run his on drugs lab. Things are going fine until his new CO (Glenn) starts to crack down on the drugs. Elwood begins to date his CO daughter (Paquin.) Their relationship soon develops.
This film is well made with great performances by all, the characters work on many levels, ( which is a rare quality for a film these days. ) this film deserves all the credit received and takes pride and place amongst my DVD collection.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Joaquin Phoneix is always worth watching in just about anything he does. Here he plays Ray Elwood, a profoundly anti-heroic American soldier in late 1980s Germany, trying to keep himself amused through a combination of drug dealing and selling off army stores on the black market. Life starts getting difficult when a hardass new sergent, Robert Lee (Scott Glenn), arrives on post determined to put an end to Elwood's criminal activities, particularly when Elwood decides to seduce Lee's daughter (Anna Paquin) to mess with Lee's mind. The ensuing cold war between these two plays out as the blackest of comedies, intensifying out of control just as the actual Cold War comes to an end.

There is a strong echo of Phil Silver's Bilko in this movie, both in Phoneix's nefarious activities and in his relationship with his dim and trusting commanding officer (Ed Harris). The movie eschews the secular beatification of the military to show them as an ordinary bunch of young people, with, perhaps, a dangerously violent and anti-social streak that becomes turned inward in the absence of an external enemy. Many may find this an uncomfortable, even objectionable, view of military life. However for those who approach this movie with an more open mind it is an out of the ordinary, occasionally unsettling but always entertaining story of criminals and idiots in uniform.
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