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Taps (Special Edition) (1981)

George C. Scott , Timothy Hutton , Harold Becker  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.98
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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $8.48  
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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: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 4.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, 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: September 12, 2006
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G6BLHY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,271 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Taps (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Harold Becker
  • "Sounding the Call to Arms: Mobilizing the Taps Generation" featurette
  • "The Bugler's Cry: The Origins of Playing Taps" featurette
  • TV spots

Editorial Reviews

Additional Features

Taps 25th Anniversary Special Edition special features contains two featurettes that will excite one to see the film again. Watching Taps in theatres upon its release was watching Hollywood history in the making. In the 30-minute featurette, Sounding the Call to Arms: Mobilizing the Taps Generation, director Harold Becker and producer Stanley R. Jaffe discuss casting the then-unknown actors: Tom Cruise (who was originally cast as an extra), Sean Penn (who they plucked off Broadway for this, his first film) and Timothy Hutton (who began shooting Taps immediately after winning an Oscar for his first film). Much discussion is also allotted to George C. Scott and his role and participation on the set. Jaffee discusses the book upon which the movie was based, and the importance that the story be told from the boys' perspective. Stars Timothy Hutton and Ronny Cox speak about their experiences on the film and regale some interesting anecdotes (Hutton playing chess with Scott), and expose what was happening behind the scenes during certain shots. Also interviewed are Director of Photography Owen Roizman and film critic Richard Schnickel. It is not clear as to why Schnickel was relevant to this particular film, although he did have compelling analysis. The second featurette, The Bugler's Cry: The Origins of Playing Taps, is a seven-minute history lesson on the meaning of the tune "Taps," told and played by a bugler. Clever it was to include this information, and a nice extra bonus to stumble upon. The director's commentary is included as an additional feature, and the humanistic connection director Harold Becker has to this film is clearly felt. --Rachel Moss

Product Description

The riveting tale that took America by storm is now an unstoppable force: TAPS: 25th Anniversary Edition packs an arsenal of extras including an all-new, on-camera interview with Timothy Hutton, an Audio Commentary, two Featurettes and more! "Unequivocally thought-provoking" (Variety) and "spiked with beautiful performances (Los Angeles Times) from a cast including Timothy Hutton, Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, and George C. Scott, this definitive edition of the jarring film delivers an emotional wallop!

When a fiercely devoted group of Military School cadets learn that their school is being sold to real estate developers, they refuse to accept defeat...instead choosing to rise up together to protect the Academy and their honor. But the brave young soldiers soon learn that the most courageous decisions can sometimes have unexpected ? and even fatal ? consequences!


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 61 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
Format:DVD
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
Format:DVD
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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9 of 9 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
Format:DVD
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazingly Prescient Movie March 13, 2004
Format:DVD
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 Superb!
This is an excellent movie that everybody should see at least once. This movie is what put Tom Cruise on the map. I highly recommend this movie to everybody. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Rich
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie
My husband was looking all over for this movie, I'm so grateful I found it and you can't beat this price for a blu ray
Published 1 month ago by C.Shingu
5.0 out of 5 stars It is now a classic...
Tap's was a great follow up to Patton, but it is not really billed that way. All I will say is that it is worth every penny and just check out all of the first time star's. Read more
Published 1 month ago by B. Sebastian
5.0 out of 5 stars Taps
Awesome about the military school. It is sad you will cry but it is worth crying for . Please buy this amazing story.
Published 1 month ago by DancingInTheWind
4.0 out of 5 stars When Tom Cruise & Sean Penn were nobodys
The riveting tale that took America by storm is now an unstoppable force on Blu-ray. "Unequivocally thought-provoking" and "spiked with beautiful performances from a cast including... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Taheen Lopez
5.0 out of 5 stars As a kid....
Get to take over the school with guns, duke it out with the adults giving a finger to man no you anit gonna have this school corporate America. The ending.... Read more
Published 2 months ago by mike 67
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie came quickly and was in exact condition as advertised.
The movie came quickly and was in the condition it was advertised to be in. Love this movie, watching it took me back to my high school days. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tracy M Wassman
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts out big but ends up rather lacking
A good movie. Starts out with fantastic potential but after seeing it again I have to agree the initial rush does kind of lose momentum. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Chris DeLaPaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie from way back in the day
Great movie. This disk is pretty much no frills-a few interesting extra features and the movie. Basically you get exactly what you think you'll get, which is a good thing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Gotbolts
3.0 out of 5 stars Taps
Was pretty good considering all the actors were so young. I believe a lot of people will be satisfied with this film.
Published 4 months ago by Isaac T. Spencer
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