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Southern Comfort

Transposing The Warriors from Brooklyn to the bayous of Louisiana, this reactivates the old genre of the platoon movie, echoes to the distant trumpets of Vietnam, unconcernedly risks pigeonholing as Deliverance II, and generally sets up more reverberations from its pared-down premise than do any number of scattershot epics. Nine part-time National Guardsmen embark on weekend training manoeuvres in the southern swamplands, expecting only a long, wet walk towards a whorehouse - until the gunplay abruptly stops being kids' stuff, and eight virgin soldiers suddenly face long odds on survival, lost and leaderless in a guerrilla war of attrition against the native Cajuns. Hill's characters exercise their own deadly group dynamics in the firing line, while Ry Cooder's score, an eerily-shot alien landscape, and a lifestyle familiar mainly from Les Blank documentaries point up the internal cultural divide. Straight-line conflicts, low-light visuals: the film's basics, its strengths, and its critical Achilles' heel are all those of the classic American male action movie.

Release details

Duration: 106 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Walter Hill
Screenwriter: Michael Kane, Walter Hill, David Giler
Cast: Keith Carradine
Powers Boothe
Fred Ward
Franklyn Seales
TK Carter
Lewis Smith
Peter Coyote
Les Lannom
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