A Few Good Men (1992)

 ●  English ● 2 hrs 18 mins

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In this dramatic courtroom thriller, LT Daniel Kaffee, a Navy lawyer who has never seen the inside of the courtroom, defends two stubborn Marines who have been accused of murdering a colleague. Kaffee is known as being lazy and had arranged for a plea bargain. Downey's Aunt Ginny appoints Cmdr. Galloway to represent him. Also on the legal staff is LTJG Sam Weinberg. The team rounds up many facts and Kaffee is discovering that he is really cut out for trial work. The defense is originally based upon the fact that PFC Santiago, the victim, was given a "CODE RED". Santiago was basically a screw-up. At Gitmo, screw-ups aren't tolerated. Especially by Col. Nathan Jessup. In Cuba, Jessup and two senior officers try to give all the help they can, but Kaffee knows something's fishy. In the conclusion of the film, the fireworks are set off by a confrontation between Jessup and Kaffee.
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise

Crew: Rob Reiner (Director), Robert Richardson (Director of Photography), Marc Shaiman (Music Director)

Rating: M (Australia), 12 (Germany)

Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery

Release Dates: 11 Dec 1992 (India)

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Did you know? Tom Cruise's character Lt. Daniel Kaffee was based on Don Marcari, David Iglesias, and Chris Johnson, the 3 military lawyers who actually went to trial in this case. Read More
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as Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway
as Col. Nathan R. Jessup
as Lt. Daniel Kaffee
as Robert C. McGuire
as Dr. Stone
as Lt. Sherby
as Judge Julius Alexander Randolph
as Lt. Col. Matthew Andrew Markinson
as Pfc. Louden Downey
as Jury Foreman
as Capt. West
as Tom
as Capt. Jack Ross
as Lt. Sam Weinberg
as Lt. Jonathan Kendrick
as Lt. Dave Spradling
as Pfc. William T. Santiago
as Cpl. Jeffrey Barnes
as M.P.
as Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson
as Capt. Whitaker




Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Sound Editor
Foley Artist
Sound Mixer
Boom Operator


Art Director
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Casting Director

Costume and Wardrobe

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Makeup and Hair

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Special Effects Coordinator


Stunt Coordinator
Film Type:
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Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.39:1 (Scope)
Movie Connection(s):
Referenced in: Shaurya (Hindi)
Audio/Video Mismatch
When Galloway confronts the drunk Danny about why he asked for the transfer order from Jessup, on the line where she mentions the Pentagon, what she is saying obviously does not match up with her lips.

Character Error
When Col Jessup orders his clerk to get the White House on the phone the clerk responds with, "Yes, sir." In the Marine Corps the proper response for "order understood and will be carried out" is "Aye-aye, sir."

Character Error
In his infamous diatribe after saying "You can't handle the truth!", Col. Jessup says their walls have to be guarded "by guys with guns". A fanatical Marine like Jessup would NEVER refer to a weapon used by a Marine as a "gun". Neither would the Army for that matter. He would've said "weapon" or "rifle". Guns (or presumably handguns) would only be carried by high ranking officers, such as himself.

Character Error
While meeting with defense attorneys in Guantanamo Bay, Colonel Jessup says "Speak softly and carry an armored tank division." It is highly unlikely that any marine would ever say such a thing, particularly one as gung ho as Jessup. An armored tank division is an army unit. Marine divisions are basically light infantry for maximum deployability. Colonel Jessup would hardly suggest an army formation as the quintessential element of national power. US Marines have armoured battalions. It would have been more appropriate for Jessop to have said "Speak softly and carry and armoured tank battalion".

The night before the first day of trial Kaffee opens the door to let Weinberg and Galloway out of his apartment. As they walk to the door Weinberg opens the door again, but it had already been opened.

The rear view mirror disappears and reappears in Kaffee's car when Markinson is in the back seat while in the same field of view.
The original play was inspired by an actual Code Red at Guantanamo Bay. Lance Corporal David Cox and 9 other enlisted men tied up a fellow Marine and severely beat him, for snitching to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Cox was acquitted and later Honorably Discharged. In 1994, David Cox mysteriously vanished, and his bullet-riddled body was found three months later. His murder remains unsolved.

The movie's line "You can't handle the truth!" was voted as the #29 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).

Tom Cruise's Jack Nicholson impersonation (when his character is quoting Col. Jessep) was not scripted.

Jack Nicholson repeated his famous courtroom monologue as Col. Jessep off-camera several times so Rob Reiner could film the reactions of other actors from various angles. Nicholson's memorable on-camera performance was filmed last, but according to Reiner and the other cast members, Nicholson gave it his all every take as if he was on camera.

A love scene between Demi Moore and Tom Cruise was planned but was not done because the movie didn't really call for it.

Writer Aaron Sorkin got the story idea from his sister, who in real life experienced a very similar incident at Guantanamo from the "Lt. Galloway" perspective as a female military attorney. In that incident, the victim was similarly assaulted by nine soldiers and was badly injured, but did not die. Sorkin initially turned the idea into a play, and then this screenplay, which was his very first.

The word "sir" is used 164 times during the movie. That's an average of once every 50 seconds.

The movie's line "You can't handle the truth!" was voted as the #92 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.

The line: "You want me on that wall! You need me on that wall!" was originally written in the script as "...you want me on that wall. You need me there..." but was changed by either Jack Nicholson or Rob Reiner during production.

In this film, Tom Cruise's character Daniel Kaffee, is a Lieutenant Junior Grade. This is one rank below the previous Navy officer whom he portrayed in Top Gun (1986), Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. Also, in this film, Demi Moore's character, Joanne Galloway, is a Lieutenant Commander. This is one rank higher than the next Navy officer whom she would portray, Lieutenant Jordan O'Neill, in the film G.I. Jane (1997).

While filming the scene in which Kendrick (played by Kiefer Sutherland) is driving Kaffee's group around the base in a Humvee through two rows of marching Marines, Sutherland had trouble driving the extra wide vehicle and actually hit Marines on multiple takes.

COL Jessep warns LT Kendrick that Santiago needs to score "4646" on his next Proficiency and Conduct report. Jessep is referring to a system by which the performance of enlisted men is rated on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0; a score of 4.6 corresponds to a rating of "Excellent".

One of the ribbons on Colonel Jessup's dress uniform jacket is the Navy Cross. This is the second highest award for wartime valor given to Navy and Marine personnel, behind only the Medal of Honor in order of precedence.

When searching for an appropriate setting for the trial, the producers learned that regular military courtrooms are plain and featureless offices. In order to create a more photogenic setting, they settled on a vacant courtroom in an empty courthouse.

Tom Cruise's character Lt. Daniel Kaffee was based on Don Marcari, David Iglesias, and Chris Johnson, the 3 military lawyers who actually went to trial in this case.

Two "Misery" novels can be seen beside Danny's typewriter while he watches a ball game. Misery (1990) was also directed by Rob Reiner.