Reviewed by Lawrence Jung
THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER
Starring: John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe, Leslie Stefanson, James Cromwell, Timothy Hutton, Clarence Williams III, James Woods, Boyd Kestner, and Daniel Von Bargen.
Directed by: Simon West
Screenplay by: Chris Bertolini and William Goldman
Based on the book by Nelson Demille
There have been other movies dealing with murder on a military post. Two movies that come to mind are "Presidio" (starring Sean Connery and Mark Harmon) and "A Few Good Men" (starring Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, and Demi Moore). But "The General's Daughter" is by far the best.
What makes "The General's Daughter" so good? The movie took care to get the military details correct, right down to the unit patches. I liked the scene when the soldiers stopped what they were doing at the crime scene and saluted during morning colors when the American flag was raised on post. Small details like this added to my enjoyment of the film, and for a brief time, I was transported to a military post in the South. Also the screenwriters were faithful to Nelson DeMille's novel, which showed how different the military world is to the civilian world. Soldiers, unlike civilians, have no rights to attorneys or rights to remain silent.
I had misgivings about John Travolta playing Paul Brenner, the CID investigator, but was pleasantly surprised by Travolta's convincing performance: cunning hidden under a wrinkled suit. The supporting cast gave excellent performances. Madeleine Stowe as Sara Sunhill, a rape investigator and also in the Army CID, and John Travolta had an onscreen chemistry. James Woods put in a great performance as the psychological warfare Colonel playing mind games with Travolta.
I enjoyed the movie so much, I saw it three times.
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