Biloxi Blues is one of the earlier soldier movies that has little if anything to do about war and everything to do with basic training. The central character is sent to Biloxi, Mississippi, in order to train with his fellow soldiers and eventually runs afoul of a sergeant that is quiet but very controlling. Thankfully he befriends another person that happens to be able to counter the sergeant and thus makes life a little more livable for the recruits.
If you haven’t seen it you might give it a look, it’d be worth it.
10. The opening and closing scenes are the same shot.
The train coming down the tracks in the opening shot is the same as in the closing, it’s just run in reverse. It’s kind of clever really when you think about it.
9. Christopher Walken based his performance on a drill sergeant he met on the set.
The drill sergeant that he met on the set wasn’t a very loud man, though he knew how to throw his voice when he had to. Otherwise though he was a soft spoken and very kind person. Walken decided to try to fit his character to this mold.
8. The film was shot in Arkansas.
You could argue that a lot of films aren’t necessarily shot in the same location where they’re said to be, but only people who’ve been around the area could tell you for certain.
7. Matthew Broderick plays two different ages in the film.
He plays the narrator and the guy in basic training. The narrator is speaking from past tense so you can easily tell that this is a future character that is doing the talking. Sort like the Wonder Years.
6. This was David Schwimmer’s movie debut.
He plays another soldier on the train and went uncredited for this shot. That seems like kind of light slap in the face really but apparently it’s been the way a lot of actors got noticed.
5. Boot camp lasted for ten weeks.
Two and a half months of grueling training while someone yells in your face and tells you that you’re not good enough isn’t something I’d call fun or even worth it. But it gets results.
4. The ‘Blues’ part of the title has more to do with the feeling of the hardship of basic training.
Ask almost anyone that’s ever been in the armed forces what the worst part of their experience was and a lot of them will straight up tell you that it was boot camp. Not the war they might have seen, not the uncertainty that plagues a lot of soldiers, but boot camp.
3. The film won 3 Tony awards.
There’s a good reason for it. The life of a grunt isn’t easy since you have work your way up from being constantly disrespected to being someone that others will look up to.
2. Biloxi Blues started out as a Broadway play.
It usually seems to go the other way as I’ve seen it, but either way seems to work. Usually movies get turned into Broadway plays, not the other way around. Or maybe I’m mistaken.
1. It was originally intended to be part of a trilogy.
There were three parts to the main character that the writer wanted to convey, but Biloxi Blues was the only part of it that got made into a motion picture. The entire trilogy has been on Broadway.
The film is worth a watch, really.