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Yes Sir, Drill Sergeant
on 28 March 2015
Before watching this I’d watched ‘Platoon’ the previous evening, more on that later.
Firstly, I thoroughly enjoyed this film which scored very highly on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, though not quite so well on Roger Ebert’s site.
The film won no major awards though it was nominated. The highlight for me (and many others I would guess) was the Marine, drill sergeant, Hartman – played by R L Emery. That was some performance, (it deserved an Oscar IMHO), and no one else in the film gets near to that level, though they all do a first class job.
The role draws an immediate comparison with ‘Emil Foley,’ the drill Sergeant, in ‘An Officer and a Gentleman.’ However, this was five years earlier in 1982, which goes to show that you can reprise a hit role quite quickly, but it has to be very, very, good!
Emery is now 71. He had four children – all very well behaved apparently!
On a more serious note, he was in fact a drill instructor in the Marines and toured Vietnam – no wonder he was so damned good!
The first half of the film is just brilliant, as the young marines are put through their paces by the uncompromising Hartman. There’s a lot of humour in here too. The second half doesn’t quite keep to that high standard but is never less than totally watchable. The fighting is a snippet of the ‘Tet offensive, which was about halfway through the war.
I think I enjoyed ‘Platoon’ a little more. Maybe it was the jungle warfare as opposed to the fighting in the City? Maybe it was because of the ‘seen it all before’ syndrome? Maybe ‘Platoon’ had a wider scope about what happened in Vietnam and therefore covers more of the salient points? In any event, It was Platoon that won the Oscar?
They are both very good films for sure and great viewing.