Before the film's production, the key actors -Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise and others - were required to participate in a 45-day-long period of orientation with the students of Valley Forge Military Academy. They were given uniforms, borrowed from their real life counterparts at the school and given authentic military haircuts. They slept in campus barracks and were subjected to the same rigors and hardship that all Valley Forge cadets went through. While most of the actors enjoyed and excelled at their orientation, Cruise opted to leave the training for the comforts of a nearby hotel until filming began.
Tom Cruise was initially supposed to play a background character in the film, but director Harold Becker was so impressed by the way he conducted himself as one of the military cadets during rehearsals that he was offered the part of David Shawn. At first Cruise refused and then was finally convinced by Becker and Producer Stanley R. Jaffe play the role.
25 Dec 1981 ● English ● 2 hrs 6 mins
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