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Gardens of Stone (1987)

James Caan , Anjelica Huston , Francis Ford Coppola  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Caan, Anjelica Huston, James Earl Jones, D.B. Sweeney, Dean Stockwell
  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Writers: Nicholas Proffitt, Ronald Bass
  • Producers: Francis Ford Coppola, David Valdes, Fred Roos, Jay Emmett, Michael I. Levy
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Georgian
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Mill Creek
  • DVD Release Date: June 25, 2002
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000066C6J
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,804 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gardens of Stone" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Anjelica Huston, D.B. Sweeney, Dean Stockwell, James Caan, James Earl Jones, Laurence Fishburne - Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My review is somewhat biased. November 14, 2003
I admit that my review is somewhat biased, because I got to be an extra in this movie. I was a Military Policeman stationed at Ft. Myer when they filmed this movie and I got the chance to be in it and meet the cast.
The depiction of the life of the 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard) conducting the funerals is fairly accurate. Overall, I think that this movie represented the Army fairly. Some minor details struck me, but they didn't detract from the enjoyment of the movie in any way.
As for the cast, my personal opinion of them varies as well, but I would like to say thet James Earl Jones is a wonderful man and in person, he's larger than life.
If anyone would like to delve a little deeper into this story, I would recommend the book by Nicholas Profitt, or I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Affectionate Tribute to the Old Guard January 16, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I hail from the Washington DC area and lived in Arlington for many years. As an Army brat, I spent many hours on post at Ft. Myer and observed many of the ceremonies captured in the film. Finally my father was buried with full military honors in Arlington Cemetery during the period covered by the film. Despite the fact that the story is very unremarkable, if not labored, even with such a high-powered cast, it is filled with long loving silent meditations on the ceremonies, and for that, it deserves respect. The credits pay eloquent and simple tribute to all the services' ceremonial units, but this is the Old Guard's show, and they execute with the poise and precision for which the unit is world famous. I found it very moving.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In eternal glory... April 3, 2004
This is a film with a difference -- many people come to it with preconceived notions of how a military-themed film should be, and are somewhat disappointed. This is not an action film, and while it fits the overall genre of being a protest film about Vietnam, it is not unambiguously so. It is an anti-war film, to be sure, but is not an anti-military or even anti-American film. It has an emphasis on duty and honour that transcends minor considerations of the particular patriotism for particular nations -- the themes as old as the Roman centurion's honour for fallen compatriots run through to the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetary.
The plot winds its way around the Old Guard, the honour guard at Arlington National Cemetary, charged with the performance of a hallowed trust, one of the few in a secular nation such as the United States -- that of overseeing the gravesites of the honoured dead who died after service to the nation, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The primary senior characters are Platoon Sergeant Hazard (James Caan) and Sergeant Major Nelson (James Earl Jones), two crusty veterans overseeing operations; both served in Korea and Vietnam with distinction, and are now sitting on the sidelines of the expanding war in Vietnam in a place where the body count is very apparent. Into this mix comes the young and idealistic Specialist Willow (D.B. Sweeney in one of his earliest roles), an Army brat whose father is (of course) a friend of Hazard and Nelson.
Willow has an unrequited love (played by Mary Stuart Masterson) in the daughter of a colonel, who seems to think that the son of a sergeant is beneath his daughter, even as Willow has ambition toward becoming an officer.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The End Result of War November 10, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Moving story about the Old Guard at Arlington Cemetety in Washington during the war in Vietnam.
James Caan give a powerful performance as an old vetern who has done his time, and his good friend played James Earl Jones who also plays a decorated vetern.
This is more an anti-war film then any thing else. Because it's the old guard that conducts the funerals for KIA's from the war that was still raging at the time.
There are no combat scenes in this film, but you feel the war through burials they perform, and conversations Cann, and Jones have with the young buck in the outfit who wants to do his duty.
While this isn't an action film, it is one hell of drama about the true effects of war. And don't think of this as just another Coming Home ( a film with a trumpted up situation, designed to tug at the heart strings, with Hanoi Jane Fonda)
I'd have to put this with 84 Charlie Mopic, Hamburger Hill, We Were Soldiers, and Full Metal Jacket on my list of all time favorite Vietnam era films.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different look at the Vietnam war June 30, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
With all the Vietnam movies that have been made to date, you don't see too many that show the view from soldiers that didn't fight in that war. This movie is about those soldiers in the Army's Old Guard that had to bury all the dead soldiers (in Arlington Cemetery) who died in the Vietnam war.
The story unfolds in 1967 with Specialist Jackie Willow (D.B. Sweeney) coming to the Old Guard as part of his Army tour of duty. Willow has big plans of becoming an officer and serving in Vietnam because he belives that he can make a difference. His Platoon Sergeant, Clell Hazard (James Caan), is a highly decorated Korean and Vietnam war veteran that is also fighting his own demons about whether he should go back to Vietnam to help lead unexperienced soldiers that are dying at an atrocious rate.
Sergeant Major Goody Nelson (James Earl Jones)is a fellow veteran of Korea and Vietnam and very close to Sergeant Hazard. Both, try as they may, want to dissuade Specialist Willow from going to fight in a war that is virtually unwinnable and wreaking havoc on the American hearts and minds.
Sergeant Hazard begins a tenuous relationship with an anti-war correspondant (Angelica Huston) who has her own ambiguous feelings about the war and the toll it is taking on all around her. Sergeant Hazard must balance his relationship, the Army, the daily burial of large numbers of dead soldiers, and his own troubled feelings on everthing unfolding around him.
Specialist Willow, by chance, encounters his old girlfriend (Mary Stuart Masterson) who he had planned to marry at one time but has not seen in years due to them going their own ways over differences they had. Rekindling their lost love, they end up getting married and Willow continually pursues his goal of becoming an officer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Really good performances by James Caan, Angelica Houston, James Earl Jones and more. The story is very well told and gives insight to what these soldiers really do every day.
Published 28 days ago by Traci Abbett
5.0 out of 5 stars Gardens of Stone
Excellent movie, have always enjoyed watching it. Great story, strong characters, good history lesson on how varied our opinions were on the Viet Nam war.
Published 1 month ago by Steve P
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Gardens of Stone' -An exceptional movie
'Gardens of Stone' is an exceptional movie that captures the times when the Viet Nam war was going on. It's basically set at Fort Myer, Arlington, VA. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kevin M McCarthy
4.0 out of 5 stars Military in family.
Just completed trip to Washington DC. Love military video's and movies. My husband is a Marine. (Once and Marine, always a Marine)!!!!!
Published 1 month ago by Linda Jaggers
5.0 out of 5 stars Some
movies are so emotional. As a VietNam veteran with an uncle and a couple of guys in Arlington, I found it touching. Read more
Published 2 months ago by LumberJock
5.0 out of 5 stars Comments on Review
I have seen Gardens of Stone before and really enjoyed it; however, what Amazon sent me was a dvd which apparently plays in the United Kingdom but not in the United States! Read more
Published 2 months ago by George G Houghton
4.0 out of 5 stars A look behind the "Spit Shine"
Shows and tells a little about "A" Co. Honor Guard. Wish more safety pins, tape, boot polish and candle wax, Brasso, pop bottle tops nailed to the turf and just Pride had... Read more
Published 2 months ago by James Bryant
1.0 out of 5 stars Not happy.
I ordered this DVD for my husband for Christmas unfortunately the format was for the UK. This is very disappointing since he can not watch it on USA DVD Why would they send me... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kimberly
4.0 out of 5 stars gift for friend
Once again a gift for a friend and he would have to rate
this Item. He told me he liked it.
Published 4 months ago by Nipper
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
This is one of the best Viet Nam era movies I have ever seen. It is not about combat. It describes what life was like for the military staff who are assigned to burial duty at... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Huffagator
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