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Taps (1981)

George C. Scott , Timothy Hutton , Harold Becker  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton, Ronny Cox, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise
  • Directors: Harold Becker
  • Writers: Darryl Ponicsan, Devery Freeman, James Lineberger, Robert Mark Kamen
  • Producers: Howard B. Jaffe, Stanley R. Jaffe
  • Format: Anamorphic, Subtitled, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 4.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 5, 2002
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005V9IG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,631 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Taps" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Military cadets take extreme measures to insure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bold movie that states the price of glory. February 9, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An overlooked, gripping drama that is notable for its young rising stars (Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise) and also its prescience, as noted by another commentator here, although I think that none of the Amazon reviewers to date has hit the nail on the head with "Taps" and its overarching theme.

The movie begins fairly conventionally, with the teenage military cadets and their venerable institution shown to the viewer to be upright, virtuous, and full of sound moral values. The youths may be a bit immature at times, and callow, but their earnestness and sincerity are shown as admirable and their devotion to their gruff, benevolent commandant (George C. Scott, perfectly cast) is unquestioned. You can literally hear the Sousa marches playing in the background. But just when you think you're in for a predictable, one-sided, nattily uniformed prep school movie preaching the military virtues, the plot takes a darker twist and we learn that appearances can be very deceiving. Faced with the closing of the school, the boys turn renegade, immediately betraying their duty of obedience in the emotions of the moment. While determined, brave, and motivated by principle, they are at the same time defying legal authority and behaving unwisely. Recognition of this causes the relationships and trust among the cadets to splinter tragically. Through the words of Hutton's career soldier father -- a wonderful supporting performance, with the hard, practical professional tearing down the cadets' naivete -- we are presented a picture of Scott's commandant that does not fit the boys' hero-worshipful image. And then the national guardsman who arrives to end the armed takeover of the school acts as Hutton's conscience, pointing out to him how far from the path of honor he has truly strayed.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bold and Brilliant, or Youth In Revolt February 9, 2009
Imagine, this is the movie that discovered Sean Penn and Tom Cruise, being this both of their debut roles. And the acting in this movie shows it, as great performances are given all the way around, especially by Timothy Hutton. What might be even more amazing is that I've never heard of this movie before two weeks ago.

In fact, I imagine that today's audiences couldn't sit through the first thirty minutes, as it's mostly filled with dialogue, and seemingly boring military school proceedings. But this is all very important, as it shows you the full load of dynamite just waiting to go off. Then as the movie progresses, it quickly delves into a 'Lord of the Flies' situation where there's youth in revolt. As the drama and tension rises, it soon becomes very clear that despite what you hope for, all will not end well. And when the end finally does come, it's hard to watch, even though it almost seems necessary.

The movie is certainly though-provoking, taking on themes of independence, military school, indoctrination, brain washing, honor, duty, dignity, courage, and fighting for what you believe in. They're thoughts that stay with you for awhile, and they offer no real answer, but it will challenge your beliefs.

Overall, an underrated and brilliant character masterpiece, with superb acting from some now famous stars, and a story that causes you to think. Granted, it makes me want to stay far away from military schools, and it's hard to watch at times, but "Taps" is a must-see movie.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Drama June 27, 2007
By Grrrr
TAPS was filmed at the Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania, where I was a cadet and graduate back in the early 70's. As alumni, we were notified of the filming that would be taking place and so I got to see some of the action going on. Naturally, I looked forward to the movie coming out and I was rewarded with a fine, suspenseful action drama. Certain scenes, like the parade formations, the formals, and the in-barracks fooling around brought me back to my cadet years. Even the run-ins with the "townies" rang true, although it never came to the brandishing of weapons. This is a fine thriller and an opportunity to see a cast of both veteran actors and future-stars perform.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tragic Proof That Hutton Is As Good As Actors Come February 3, 2003
Given the other reviews, plot summary in this one would be superfluous, yet I feel compelled to say "Taps" is a deeply moving tragedy. The characters are very real, the situation is very believable. The film has its share of comic relief, but the story is so sad and the acting so very good (even Cruise, whom I generally loathe, was perfectly cast) that if you are given to tears you may prefer to watch it alone, but whether you are or whether you're not, you definitely should watch it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazingly Prescient Movie March 13, 2004
Saw this movie on cable a few years after it came out. I didn't think too much of it back then--but what a difference 20 years makes! Taps is, without a doubt, one of the best teen angst movies ever made. The unique twist here is that teens are (literally) fighting for increasingly anachronistic ideals: duty, honor, and country. Partly due to their methods & partly due to their militaristic demeanor, the society outside the school gates (good symbolism here) spurns their cause. In the time since 1981, the trend has been to tolerate, defend, and even reward, abberrant behavior. As a result, the film gets high marks for correctly predicting that these kids are on the wrong side of history. The casting was also extraordinary with outstanding performance all around. Cruise's performance was especially strong--perhaps the best he's ever done. I also find it uncanny that this film was able to cast two of today's top stars (Penn & Cruise) as leads. These factors have actually helped Taps improve with age--an extremely rare achievement.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good seller good quality product
Published 20 days ago by sambino
4.0 out of 5 stars this is one of the best movies of all time
this is one of the best movies of all time. The acting was out of this world. Actors worked well off each other. All the young actors went on to become great actors.
Published 25 days ago by debbie burton
5.0 out of 5 stars much better
1st time in bluray, much better video
Published 1 month ago by EMMANUEL R. CRUZ
4.0 out of 5 stars Cruise And Penn Early In Their Careers
Taps is a movie is about military cadets who revolted when it was announced that their school,Bunker Hill Military Academy is going to be torn down and replaced with commercial... Read more
Published 1 month ago by DESERTMAN40
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great
Timeless classic
Published 2 months ago by K. Baldwin
3.0 out of 5 stars Rockin Renee'
I only bought it because it thought Tom Cruise was in it & he wasn't.
Published 2 months ago by rockin renee'
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Full Metal Jacket meets Lord of the Flies.
Published 3 months ago by Sarah Hanchar
5.0 out of 5 stars Integrity, Discipline, Honor, Profound, Fortify. ...
Integrity, Discipline, Honor, Profound, Fortify. The governments actions in this movie show what lengths thy will take, to take what ever thy want to anyone at any time. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ernest Levesque
4.0 out of 5 stars Loading issues....
I just got this dvd new...When I put it in my machine, the player starts making all this racket before the dvd evens finish loading... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Matt Peregoy
5.0 out of 5 stars TAPS.......always going to be one of my favorite movies!!!!
Published 4 months ago by RALPH BRILL
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