Gardens of Stone

Film, Drama

Time Out says

Coppola's oblique, muted and curiously revisionist drama of life on the home front during the Vietnam war. Sgt Hazard (Caan), a battle-seasoned veteran frustrated by his present role in the 'toy soldier' regiment guarding the Arlington military cemetery, is shaken out of his self-pitying cynicism by his love affair with an anti-war journalist (Huston) and a spiky father/son relationship with a gung-ho rookie (Sweeney). Caan is against the war - 'It's not even a war. There's nothing to win, and no way to win it' - but for the military; he won't go back to Vietnam, but desperately wants a transfer to Fort Benning, where he can train young recruits to die valiantly. Meanwhile, the bodies arrive daily, to be boxed up and buried with full military honours. While Ronald Bass' subtly understated dialogue, Coppola's meticulous direction, and some exceptional acting (especially from Caan) never fail to rivet the attention, there's a pervasive and worrying sense of the central issues being gently but undeniably fudged.


Release details

112 mins

Cast and crew

Francis Ford Coppola
Ronald Bass
DB Sweeney
Dean Stockwell
James Earl Jones
Lonette McKee
Laurence Fishburne
Anjelica Huston
Sam Bottoms
James Caan
Dick Anthony Williams
Mary Stuart Masterson
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