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Southern Comfort


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Southern Comfort + Deliverance (Deluxe Edition) + Apocalypse Now: Redux
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Product Details

  • Actors: Keith Carradine, Powers Boothe, Fred Ward, Franklyn Seales, T.K. Carter
  • Directors: Walter Hill
  • Writers: Walter Hill, David Giler, Michael Kane
  • Producers: David Giler, William J. Immerman
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2001
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059TGE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,154 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Southern Comfort" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the director of The Long Riders comes this eye-widening, gut-wrenching tale of backwoods terror that draws you into the eerily beautiful Louisiana bayou...then has you running for your life (Pauline Kael, New Yorker)! Keith Carradine, Powers Boothe and Peter Coyote lead a first-rate ensemble (Newsweek) in this exciting, arresting and tautly told suspenser (Variety). When nine National Guardsmen enter the Louisiana swamp for routine training, they are unaware that just a handful of their ranks will make it out alive. Through an error in judgment, they incite an all-out war with some angry Cajuns who know the territory like the backs of their hands. Armed with a precious few bullets, and confused by the dimly lit, moss-covered maze into which they ve stumbled, the innocent guardsmen know they'll be picked off one-by-one...until they come up with a solution using the only resources they have left'themselves.

Amazon.com

More than merely Deliverance in the Louisiana bayou, Walter Hill's taut little tale of weekend-warrior National Guardsmen on swamp exercises reverberates with echoes of Vietnam. Powers Booth brings a hard pragmatism to the "new guy" in the unit, a Texas transplant less than thrilled with his new group. "They're just Louisiana versions of the same rednecks I served with in El Paso," he tells the levelheaded Keith Carradine.

The barely functional unit of city boys and macho rednecks invades the environs of the local Cajun trappers and poachers, "borrowing" the locals' boats and sending bursts of blank rounds over their heads in a show of contempt. Before they know it the dysfunctional strangers in a strange land are on the losing end of a guerrilla war. The swamp rats kill their commanding officer (Peter Coyote) and terrorize the bickering bunch as they flee blindly through the jungle without a map, a compass, or a leader to speak of.

Hill directs with a clean simplicity, creating tension as much from the primal landscape and the Cajuns' unsettling reign of terror as from the dynamics of a platoon of battle virgins tearing itself apart from rage and fear. Ry Cooder's eerie and haunting score and the primal, claustrophobic landscape only intensifies the paranoia as the city boys splinter with infighting (sparked by a bullying Fred Ward), blunder through booby traps and ambushes, and finally turn just as savage as their pursuers in their drive to survive. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Overall, a very good, entertaining film.
Andrew Thompson
They also find, to their horror, that relatively untrained civilians with guns and attitude can be formidable opponents.
Barron Laycock
The "villains" being Cajun fisherman/hunters out in the swamps of Lousiana.
Josef Serf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on October 4, 2003
Format: DVD
This tautly-told tale of the explosive mix of subcultures under extreme conditions is a gem seldom discussed in movie circles, but is indeed a near-cult favorite of Vietnam vets who recognize the allegorical message of its gritty and ironic twists of plot associated with the casual and almost nonchalant attitudes of several Louisiana National Guard reservists off on a weekend military exercise during the early 1970s in the foreboding and eerie bayou country. Famed action director Walter Hill wastes little time in setting the dilemma into motion, and by disobeying orders and "improvising" a way across a large river by "borrowing" some Cajun moon-shiners' boats, the squad soon finds itself engaged in escalating misunderstanding and quite plausible sequences of violence, murder, and mayhem.
For anyone ever in the military of that era, it is a profoundly accurate depiction of just how easily disorganized, untrained, and undisciplined troops who are poorly indoctrinated and even more poorly led can find itself disastrously out of control under circumstances they can no longer positively influence. Moreover, left to their own devices,and slowly decimated through casualties inflicted by their erstwile opponents, they unnecessarily and fatefully add to their own predicament by taking action that makes their predicament much worse. They also find, to their horror, that relatively untrained civilians with guns and attitude can be formidable opponents. The stealth, familiarity with the terrain, and downright viciousness employed by the local Cajun moon-shiners makes this a captivating study in how slender are the threads that binds us together in a large and pluralistic society such as ours.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Harding VINE VOICE on September 5, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film came out just as I was finishing a six-year stint with the Louisiana National Guard, so I eagerly went to see it soon after its release. I enjoyed it so much then that I bought a copy on DVD when reminded of it after I bought "Deliverance".

Though there are surface similarities, Southern Comfort is not Deliverance Louisiana-style, though it may have attracted much the same viewers.

I won't rehash the story to a great extent, but I want to point out a few errors in the film before singing its hosannahs. First of all, if the Guard unit started its exercise in the Catahoula swamp and was supposed to pass through the Great Dismal Swamp (they called it the Great Primordial Swamp in the film) to a rendezvous with another unit, there would have been precious few Cajuns as those swamps are north of the Red River. Most Cajuns live south of that river and west of the Mississippi. Secondly, the interstate which "Casper" kept referring to would have been Interstate 20, 100 miles to the north and they'd have crossed many other roads before that. The type of swamp the unit was in would be far more likely south of Interstate 10, 100 miles to the south of where the movie placed them. Finally, there would probably have been at least a couple of the troops who could speak Cajun French. My unit, based at Pineville LA, had a good mix of North Louisiana "rednecks" as Cajuns referred to them and South Louisiana "coon-asses" as the Cajuns called themselves. A lot of the Cajun guys were fluent in Cajun French. As for the troopers themselves, we did have one guy in our unit reminiscent of the wild-eyed punk in the film who got the real trouble started by firing blanks at the Cajun trappers, but beyond that they were a decent bunch of men and women.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Josef Serf on May 26, 2004
Format: DVD
Whatver I say about this film, I can't admit to being objective about it because I adore it so much. At this point, I have probably watched it about 15 times over the years so I feel something of an expert on it.
Since others have written some very well written reviews of "Southern Comfort" I don't want to repeat what they say however a few points require clarification.
First, what this film is about. It is not, in my opinion, merely about the traditional urban/rural divide. That divide exists in the film as it does in real life. But that is not the point of the film. Nor is it an anti-white or anti-Southern screed. Although it takes place in the South it could take place just about anywhere when one realizes what the film is really about. Also both the "survivors" and the "villains" in the film are white Southerners. The "survivors" being two Lousiana National Guardsman - Spencer (Kieth Carradine) and Hardin (Powers Boothe). The "villains" being Cajun fisherman/hunters out in the swamps of Lousiana.
No, what "Southern Comfort" is really about is what happens when arrogant fools invade another people's land and start indulging in violent and hostile acts, including destroying the livelihood of the indigeneous native people (e.g. cutting their fishing nets and stealing their boats), shooting at, seizing, and taking prisoner innocent locals, blowing up their homes, abusing and torturing them (sounds all to familiar), and then wondering why they are hated so much and why the native people attack them. The message is really that simple.
It was captured in a short dialogue after the "survivors" are shown to be the last two left among the guardsmen.
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