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Exceptional cast elevates 'A Few Good Men'

Exceptional cast elevates ‘A Few Good Men’

“You can’t handle the truth!”

Certain lines of dialogue become so legendary that they are instantly recognizable. Such is the case with Jack Nicholson’s iconic line in an intense military courtroom scene in “A Few Good Men.” This powerful statement comes from Aaron Sorkin’s play, which Rob Reiner adapted into a gripping 1992 movie that BBC America airs on Monday, July 8.

Nicholson portrays the stern Navy Colonel Nathan Jessep, a base commander under investigation by a group of JAG lawyers. These lawyers — played by Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Kevin Pollak — are looking into the court martial of two Marines, portrayed by Wolfgang Bodison and James Marshall, following the death of a fellow soldier.

Tom Cruise’s character, Lt. Daniel Kaffee, initially comes across as laid-back, much to the frustration of the more diligent Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway, played by Moore. However, Kaffee’s unconventional methods eventually earn him some grudging respect from Galloway, even if she doesn’t entirely agree with his approach.

The case becomes further complicated due to the uncooperative nature of the defendants. As the attorneys work to uncover the truth behind a “Code Red” order suspected to have led to the soldier’s death, Kaffee begins to suspect that Jessep himself issued the fatal command. This sets up a climactic battle of wits between Kaffee and Jessep, drawing in Jessep’s counsel, portrayed by Kevin Bacon, and other officers under Jessep’s command, including characters played by Kiefer Sutherland and Noah Wyle.

Aaron Sorkin himself adapted “A Few Good Men” for the screen, adhering closely to the original plot. Under Reiner’s direction, the film version offers ample opportunity for its stellar cast to shine. Cruise, Nicholson, and Moore together form a powerful combination that adds significant allure to the film, transforming material that could have seemed dry in other hands into a captivating cinematic experience.

Source: BBC America