MovieChat Forums > TapsĀ (1981) Discussion > Why did they arrrest General Bache?

Why did they arrrest General Bache?


Bache did not shoot the kid. The drunk redneck who jumped Bache grabbed Bache's gun from the holster and shot his friend. It is very clear in the movie.

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Probably to placate the parents. You know how most people are. According to the parents of the punk. "Little Billy" and his friends were just walking by the academy when these violent, militaristic, SOBs attacked them (in full prom attire no less.) and when one of the cowardly bullies was getting the worst of it, the mentally unbalanced ( everyone KNOWS that American generals are CRAZY) Bache shot him in the back. Nobody's kid EVER does anything wrong, as witness Casy Anthony's parents.



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Well said!

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Parents and society in general in America weren't like that back then like they are today. Back then, kids were disciplined firmly. Parents punished them when they acted up at school or was disrespectful to law enforcement or elders. Parents didn't go to the school mad because a teacher corrected their poor child in front of the classroom.

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Parents and society in general in America weren't like that back then like they are today. Back then, kids were disciplined firmly. Parents punished them when they acted up at school or was disrespectful to law enforcement or elders. Parents didn't go to the school mad because a teacher corrected their poor child in front of the classroom.
That's not true. You're describing the 1960s, 1950s and 1940s. However, the problem being described (in addition to others like vice abuse) has grown considerably worse since 1970s.

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Possession of a firearm w/o a permit; possession of a weapon; posession of a weapon for unlawful purpose; murder (let the prosecutor decide to downgrade to manslaughter); etc.

Ang Lee directing the "Hulk" is like Hitler directing "Schlinders List."

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Possession of a firearm w/o a permit; possession of a weapon; posession of a weapon for unlawful purpose

Not sure if you knew, but these aren't actual crimes.

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Possession of a sammich w/o mustard; possession of a stylish mustache; wearing a uniform at his age and in his physical shape; etc...

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Bache thought he indeed had accidentally squeezed the trigger, even if there were other circumstances that mitigated his guilt. He was an elderly man in a state of extreme depression and not in a combative or even a self-protecting state of mind. His was a sad character. But his culpability in the accident was undeniable. He knew that he should have never had a live round in the chamber, not to mention merely having a loaded weapon to begin with at a school social function. I think Scott played his part extremely convincing with none of the overacting or phony British accent he's so prone to making ludicrously unprofessional. The man's a consummate actor, but he has the tendency in many roles to overact and thereby give an unconvincing portrayal. Not the case here. He was excellent in every facet. The child actors, too were just terrific. This is a landmark movie, to be praised in every way.

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Bache did not shoot the kid. The drunk redneck who jumped Bache grabbed Bache's gun from the holster and shot his friend. It is very clear in the movie.

It's clear to us as viewers of the movie. It's not clear to the characters within the story. Hell, even Bache himself seems to be confused as to what actually happened.

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Regardless of why the gun went off, he brought it into the situation and he is responsible. Almost every police force would arrest him and then let the DA determine how to charge him after proper interviews. Anytime anyone is carrying a weapon they are responsible for everything that happens with it.

If you are cleaning a gun in your home, it goes off accidentally, and the bullet leaves your home and hits someone...expect to get arrested.

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I suspect it was because the grand jury didn't get a chance to review the film before charging him. :-)

Seriously, though, this is a pretty glaring continuity error in the film. The townie clearly had the gun in his hand during the fight, but Bache had it in his hand immediately after.

In reality, even if the gun had discharged in Bache's hand, it's doubtful that Bache would have been arrested in the real world. Any competent officer would have looked at the situation and realized that it was apparently an accidental discharge, and considered the fact that this is not a man who is a flight risk or a threat to the community. They could always have arrested him later if the facts showed something other than what they initially suggested, so there was absolutely no reason to arrest him prior to an investigation. Unfortunately not arresting him would have ruined the entire premise of the movie, so apparently the director didn't consider that an option.

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Having the stupid townie kid pull the trigger and kill his buddy adds to the sense of injustice against the Academy, the General, and the Cadets.

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And, of course, the townie who actually pulled the trigger is going to come right up to the cops and say, "No, the General didn't do it. I was grabbing the gun, and I shot the round off. I killed my friend. The General, hell, the whole Bunker Hill Acadamy bares no responsibilty for it at all. it was all me! ME, I tells ya! ME!" And the cops walk him off in handcuffs as the owners of the Acadamy realize it would be a mistake to close the school....


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It's a tough universe...If you're going to survive, you've really got to know where your towel is.

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All the Sheriff would need to do is perform a gunshot residue test on the General's hands to see if he had, indeed, fired the pistol.

Not being an instructor, he doesn't take an active part in the field training of the cadets, so it would be unlikely that he would have reason to fire a weapon, unless, of course, he recently took some target practice on the cardboard cut-outs they have of the townie kids in the school's firing range.

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The Generals hand was near enough to the weapon that he would have gotten the residue on him as well. It just does not stick to the shooter magically. It does get tossed around a bit by the surround air.
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It's a tough universe...If you're going to survive, you've really got to know where your towel is.

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Truly sad is that if he were to go to a prison for manslaughter, it would have been one of those country club prisons where he would end up wearing a "..little white shirt with cut-off sleeves, alligator on the tit, and spend the rest of his days beating the hell out of a little white ball with an iron club.."


Freedom has a lot to do with tolerating the crap you don't like

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Agreed, they should have shown the film at trial.

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Would the shooting be considered negligent homicide by General Bache?

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I feel like the scene was WRITTEN with the redneck wrestling with him and going for his weapon and then the General trying to protect, maybe even upholstering it, and he's the one holding it and the redneck is going after it, and then the General accidentally fires the weapon.

But how it was DIRECTED, in order to have the audience be more sympathetic is to have the Redneck get a hold of it, and even fire it. But I felt this was tedious in that logically all of the General's boys would backup (I'm sure a few of them would lay witness to that struggle) the fact it was the redneck at fault.

I do agree the General would have gotten arrested, but as another poster said, DA and cops would figure out what actually happened after interviews and an investigation.

But yeah, The General shouldn't have had his gun safety off, round in the chamber, maybe that's why he took responability, because he let his sidearm be taken from him by a drunken civi, and he improper condition of the weapon.

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I'm surprised as to how much guilt, weak, and remorse General Bache felt afterwards. He's a military man who has probably killed others in all his battles. Bache should have defended himself and implicated the townie and declare that he was totally at fault - not himself. And it's too bad that the other townie got killed....but tough. He brought it up himself.

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and then the General trying to protect, maybe even upholstering it

Why would he cover his gun in cushions and fabric at a time like this?

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