MovieChat Forums > Gardens of Stone (1987) Discussion > Underappreciated performances...

Underappreciated performances...

I have always been a big fan of this film. It was sadly underseen and is still sadly underrated.

The film is great and the performances are some of the best work of it's respective cast.

James Caan gives one of his top 3 performanes. My fave of his is Thief, followed by The Godfather, and then this film. His work here is understated and natural. He should have been nominated for an Oscar.

Angelica Huston was wonderful in one of her great roles.

All the supporting roles are perfectly cast and played.

However... the film belongs to James Earl Jones. He gives the performance of his career!
The Academy was ignorant in overlooking his fine work in this film. He commands the screen in every scene he is in.

A great film full of excellent performances and a true overlooked treasure.



I agree with some of your statements. It is a vastly underrated film and Caan is great in it. Jones is a commanding presence, though I don't know about Oscar worthy, though that is very subjective. I do think he should have won for The Great White Hope.

I appreciated the authenticity. The film came out while I was in the NROTC program and the actors sounded and acted like real military personnel; not just actors in uniforms. I especially enjoyed the inspection scene where the young hotshot gives Jones as good as he gets, in regards to "asexual reproduction," where Jones then tears up the inspection notes and passes them cleanly. I've experience that, though in a far less vulgar fashion. We were asked general naval knowledge questions during our formal inspections and I was once asked the number of Marines killed in the Beruit bombing, during the Lebanon peace-keeping mission (Reagan era). The actual number was 241; but, I said 261. The inspectors got confused, especially since I said it with conviction. They asked me again and I stuck with my answer, confidently. They gave me the points since I didn't waver. Later, in a classroom, one of them asked me again and I gave the same answer, even though I knew it was wrong and could tell they had checked it. The officer smiled and went on with the lecture.

Fortunately, Ah keep mah feathers numbered for just such an emergency!


It is my favourite performance by Caan. And just about the only one by DB Sweeny that I can tolerate. Everyone else is excellent. Love this film.


AMEN!!! Immensely Impressive film.
Caan and James Earl were Staggering in just how GOOD they were in this fine film.
To be snubbed by Academy is Criminal.
Have seen this movie many times.
Should be required viewing by military. $0.02
Absolutely Adored Wildman's performance, particularly at the end.
That Lt of Honor Guard KNEW who was in charge at funeral.
You Don't mess with MOH Winner!
What made it Ironically Special was that it was Willow who was The Man responsible for him becoming the "Soldier" Wildman had become!
A LOT of Honor associated with this film.
That's how I see it, anyhow.