"Never be ashamed of being human, Mr Moreland. Without humanity, a leader becomes a tyrant."Taps
— General Bache
is a 1981 film, directed by Harold Becker and starring Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn
, Tom Cruise
and George C Scott
. The story revolves around young military cadets who take over their academy in order to prevent the directory from closing it. It is based on the book Father Sky
, by Devery Freeman.
It was the second role of Tom Cruise
, and his first major role after a brief appearance in Endless Love
, and the first non-TV movie of Sean Penn
. Timothy Hutton had already burst into the acting scene by playing in Ordinary People
These Tropes are beautiful, man ! Beautiful :
- A Father to His Men: Bache at first, and then Brian.
- Calling the Old Man Out : Brian to Sergeant Moreland, who still considers him as a kid (see They Call Me Mister Tibbs).
Brian: He [Bache] is the example we follow!
- Establishing Character Moment: When climbing the stairs and getting to their room, right after the introduction ceremony, the three main characters are exposed :
- Brian Moreland is the gentle leader, respected by all others (we don't know yet he is the Cadet Major).
- Alex Dwyer is his subversive close friend, mocking the book of remembrance.
- David Shawn admires Moreland but hates Dwyer (see Flipping the Bird) and already looks like an insane angry Jerkass.
- Downer Ending: JC get seriously burned, the little kid Charlie,Brian and Shawn get shot.
- Face-Heel Turn: "Lieutenant West, requesting permission to be dismissed, sir."
- Flipping the Bird: Shawn to Dwyer in introduction.
- Foregone Conclusion: The school IS going to be closed. Used by Colonel Kerby when telling Brian that he can't win this.
Col. Kerby: Mr Moreland, you know, and I know, that it's never gonna go your way. You do know that, don't you ?
- Four-Star Badass: General Bache.
- Heroic BSOD: Brian gets several when things start to go wrong.
- Honor Before Reason: Brian, oh so much.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Brian during his last BSOD about the kid.
- Sarcastic Devotee / Sour Supporter: Alex Dwyer is this to Brian Moreland.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Impersonated with Shawn vs. Dwyer.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Brian to his father :
Brian: Stop calling me kid.
Sgt Moreland: You expect me to call you Major ? You can forget it.
- They Have Reserves: From Bache : "They kept coming at us, wave after wave. Totally indifferent to casualties. Of course, the Chinese always had plenty of bodies to spare."
- - What in God's name did they teach you in here? What did they turn you into?
- - A TROPER, which is the only thing I ever wanted to be !