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An Analysis of a Few Good Men

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An Analysis of a Few Good Men

Ashford Student

ENG 225

Janelle Jalbert

April 25, 2011

An Analysis of A Few Good Men

The 1992 film, A Few Good Men is a adaptation of of Aaron Sorkin's play about military courtroom drama. The movie is about a Navy Lawyer LtJG Daniel Kaffe (Tom Cruise) who is better known for pleading out cases , yet is assigned to defend two young marines Lance Corporal Harold Dawson played by Wolfgand Bodison, and Private First Class Louden Downey played by James Marshall who have been accused of murdering a fellow marine Private William Santiago (Michael De Lorenzo) while they were all assigned to a marine base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The movie while heavy in dialogue and absent on any type of real action carrys well considering the history of the actors in A Few Good Men which isn't hard to find. The performance of the main characters (Kaffey and Jessup), not to mention the very impressive supporting cast make for a very interesting movie.

Tom Cruise while not know for humourous movies manages to incorporate drama and humour extremely well which shows how far he had come as an actor. And despite Jack Nicholson only being shown a few times throughout the film I believe his character stole the spot line, specially during the finally that took place in the courtroom.

In the process of preparing for the case Lt Kaffey has to contain with dealing with Lt. Commander JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore) who is convinced that there is more to the case than just simple murder. Lt. Commander Galloway is known for taking a more hands on approach to most cases, but expressed particular interest the murder case and convinces Lt. Kaffey that the case should go to trial.

The movie plot takes a life of it's own when the commander of the unit Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) is introduced into the process of investigating the case. LT. Kaffey, Lt.Commander Galloway, and Kaffey's colleage and good friend Lt. Sam Weinberg (Kevin Pollak) travel to Cuba in to get a better understanding of what happened to Private William Santiago.

It is during their vistit to Cuban that Kaffey and Jessup meet for the first time, and it is at this time that the melodrama between Kaffey and Jessup really begins. The main reason is because Kaffey asks Jessup for a copy of Santiago's transfer order at which point Jessup felt challenged and proceeded to insult Kaffey's varility by making him ask for it with the line "You have to ask for it nicely".

The goal of the film is to get Tom Cruise's underachieving Daniel Kaffee to finally realize what a great lawyer he is and start serving society at a much higher level. Typically, a character such as Demi Moore's Jo would be something of a Princess Leia-esque equal. Instead she is merely another button-pusher for Danny, a woman who makes him a better man and the lone figure to whom incompetence is assigned.

LTCDR Joann Galloway which to me does not represent the truth about the treatment of females in the military whether enlisted or officer gets walked over by the males in the Navy Judge Advocates General's department. Her desire to make herself standout among her peers almost blows the case during trial.



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