Clint Eastwood stars as Sergeant Thomas Highway – a veteran Marine preparing his green recruits for the realities of combat through drill and training bordering on the downright sadistic.
The platoon of blacks, Chicanos, rednecks etc are having a great time in basic training: ghetto blasters all over the barracks, drinking beer in the morning, gold earrings, non-regulation clothing . . .
The worst of them, a non-stop street-jive black dude with ‘attitude’ goes out every night dressed up like Prince, playing rock & roll in bars.
Meanwhile, the Sarge is simultaneously laying parts of his past life to rest and trying his confused hardest to become a Sensitive New Age Guy for the benefit of his ex-wife.
He drinks, picks fights, ends up in jail and is frequently transferred because officers in the new peace-time Marine Corps can’t put up with him.
Eastwood is at his absolute best as the ageing leatherneck (who even his beloved Corps now label “a dinosaur”). Naturally enough, behind the tough-as-nails exterior beats a heart of gold.
The combat training eventually comes in extremely useful as Gunney and his troops are whisked off to take part in the invasion of Grenada.
Sergeant Thomas Highway
Mario Van Peebles
Master Sergeant Choozoo
Arlen Dean Snyder