Film / Tank
is a 1984 action-dramedy
film starring James Garner (from The Great Escape
and The Rockford Files
primarily, but also the antagonist of Atlantis: The Lost Empire
), Shirley Jones (The Partridge Family
) and C. Thomas Howell (Red Dawn (1984)
), and also James Cromwell (Babe
, Star Trek: First Contact
, The Green Mile
, Space Cowboys
, The Sum of All Fears
, I, Robot
, The Longest Yard
) and G. D. Spradlin (The Godfather Part II
and Apocalypse Now
) as The Dragon
and the Corrupt Cop
Tank has examples of:
- A Father to His Men: And to his kid, and to other people's kids.
- Artistic License – Law: The Kangaroo Court (see below) that Billy Carey gets. Even if somehow the rest of the state was corrupt enough to uphold such an absurd proceeding, Federal Courts would strike it down in a heartbeat, not the least of which would be not having the benefit of counsel after having his attorney imprisoned on sham grounds of "contempt of court" and then trying him without a defense attorney.
- Corrupt Cop: Sheriff Cyrus Buelton. And everyone else.
- Corrupt Hick: Sheriff Buelton. He frames Carey's son for drug possession and cheating him out of his retirement money and forcing him to sell his recently-purchased boat.
- Dirt Forcefield: Works on Bill's skin, but not his clothing.
- Good Ol' Boy: Cyrus. The trope is even referenced by name.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Sarah.
- Humiliation Conga: The second half of the film pretty much amounts to this for Sheriff Buelton, starting with his office being flattened and ending with him landing face-down in the mud.
- Kangaroo Court: The "trial" that Carey's son gets: In only a few hours the defense attorney is found in contempt of court and jailed, Carey's son is arraigned, tried, and sentenced to years of prison on felony drug charges, and immediately shipped off to prison later the same day.
- Lock and Load Montage: More like a Start Up The Tank Montage, but it still counts.
- Military Brat: Bill and (the dead) John.
- Military Maverick: Subverted; Zack is all for keeping the peace in the armed forces. Before he goes on his road trip, he resigns from the army, meaning it's now a strictly civilian matter. The army can't get involved.
- Morton's Fork: The governor of Tennessee (the state to which Sergeant-Major Carey and his tank are trying to escape) faces one when confronted with the question of whether he'll fight Carey's extradition.
Governor: If I say "yes", I'm harboring a fugitive. If I say "no", I've just shot Jesse James.
- Naked People Are Funny: Carey forces Euclid, Buelton's cretinous deputy, to strip naked in public after he destroys the sheriff's station. The townsfolk find it hilarious.
- One-Man Army
- Oh Crap!: When Euclid emerges from inside the sheriff's station to find himself staring down the Sherman's barrel.
Carey: I do believe I gotcha covered.
- Papa Wolf: Shown zealously earlier on, then taken Up to Eleven later.
- Precision F-Strike: "Sergeant, that's the best fuckin' apple cobbler I ever tasted." And in a PG movie, too.
- Prison Rape: Implied that this will happen to Bill.
- Society Marches On: The plot of the film is based on the idea that if they can flee across the state line to Tennessee, they can be safely beyond prosecution. When the movie was made in 1984, that was the law in the United States, under the Supreme Court ruling Kentucky v. Dennison from 1861. However, 3 years after the film was made, that ruling was overturned in Puerto Rico v. Branstad which ruled that states cannot refuse extradition requests from other states. The plot of the film wouldn't have worked just 3 years later. Not to mention how the country would react in a post 9/11 environment to a vigilante with a vintage tank blasting his way across the southern US.
- Tank Goodness: It's in the name.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer basically tells the whole story.
- Vanilla Edition: Loading this DVD into your player's tray is like inserting a VHS tape into your VCR. There isn't even a menu. It just starts playing the movie.
- Was It Really Worth It?
- Wife-Basher Basher: Zack informs one of his subordinates in explicit terms that he can't beat up his wife, he needs to get counseling, and if he does it again, nothing, not the stockade or loss of his pension will stop him. "I will destroy you in place."