Dogfight

Dir: Nancy Savoca, 1991. Starring: River Phoenix, Lili Taylor, Richard Panebianco, Anthony Clark, Mitchell Whitfield. Drama.

The Four Bs: Birdlace, Berzin, Benjamin, and Buel (aka Oakie). They're teenage Marines who met at boot camp and became friends. It's 1963 and Kennedy is president. A war is unfolding and they've stopped in a small town with a base on the outskirts. By morning, they'll be shipped off to a place they've never heard of called Vietnam. They think they'll be there approximately three months, “take a few names,” and come home unharmed. The naivety of these characters and that of the actual young men who thought the same thing is uncanny and heartbreaking.

Gathering $50 per man, the group decides to have a party of some tradition called a dogfight. The objective of the evening is to rent a nice place and throw a sort of going-away bash. The money is pooled and each guy is supposed to bring a date. The man with the ugliest date wins the pool.

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Posted by:
Edythe Smith
Apr 3, 2011 6:07pm
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