Gardens of Stone (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

Gardens of Stone (1987)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Set during the Vietnam War, this film follows the life of the group of soldiers assigned to duty at the Arlington National Cemetery. When the anxious, young Pvt. Jackie Willow (D. B. Sweeney) is stationed at Arlington instead of being sent to war overseas, he is befriended by Sgt. Clell Hazard (James Caan), a career soldier who can't find it in himself to support the war. The friendship of his fellow soldiers and the love of his girlfriend, Rachel Feld (Mary Stuart Masterson), however, may not be enough to dissuade Jackie from joining the war overseas.
  • Rating:
    R (adult situations/language)
  • Genre:
  • Directed By:
  • Written By:
  • In Theaters:
  • On DVD:
  • Runtime:
  • Studio:
    Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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James Caan
as Sgt. Clell Hazard
D.B. Sweeney
as Jackie Willow
Anjelica Huston
as Samantha Davis
James Earl Jones
as Sgt. Maj. 'Goody' Nelson
Dean Stockwell
as Capt. Homer Thomas
Lonette McKee
as Betty Rae
Sam Bottoms
as Lt. Webber
Samuel Bottoms
as Lt. Webber
Elias Koteas
as Pete Deveber
Laurence Fishburne
as Cpl. Flanagan
Casey Siemaszko
as Pvt. Albert Wildman
Peter Masterson
as Col. Feld
Carlin Glynn
as Mrs. Feld
Dick Anthony Williams
as First Sgt. `Slasher' Williams
Erik Holland
as Col. Godwin
Bill Graham
as Don Brubaker
Terry Hinz
as Navy Captain
William Williamson
as Lt. Colonel
Nick Mathwick
as Lt. Horton
Grant Lee Douglass
as Blue Lieutenant
Mark Frazer
as Soldier
Terry Foster
as Soldier
Hajna O. Moss
as Wedding Friend
Louis Rangel
as ANC Driver
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Gardens of Stone

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (7)

Seems to take its name not so much from the Arlington Memorial Cemetery, where much of the action takes place, but from the stiffness of the characters it portrays.

Full Review… | December 11, 2007
Top Critic

There's a pervasive and worrying sense of the central issues being gently but undeniably fudged.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The most important missing ingredient is Mr. Coppola.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

A handsome but fragmentary film that can't decide which story to tell.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Every moment is right, and yet the film as a whole is incomplete.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

There's a curious ambiguity in Coppola's feelings about the soldiers and their life.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Gardens of Stone


Period piece that presents the POV of the impact of the Vietnam War stateside; both civilian and military perspectives and how they most often clashed. Great performances by all the main players, this is a movie very worthy of you viewing. One of JEJ's best performances

Steve Hartline
Steve Hartline

Francis Ford Coppola directs this rather humdrum drama about the Old Guard (charged with burying many soldiers in military funerals) during the Vietnam War. James Caan and James Earl Jones are good...but D.B. Sweeney is kind of weak here. The script is a little too weak, with forced and tired views on the Vietnam War being continuously drudged out with little impact. I didn't care about the characters or most of what is going is too dull and drab. You have to wonder why Coppola would return to the subject of Vietnam (in any small capacity) after he put his all into "Apocalypse Now". I would say this is one of Coppola's weakest efforts.

Ken Scheck
Ken Scheck

It's taken 20 (plus) years but Coppola's much maligned take on the effects of an unpopular war seems to have found it's relevance.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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