Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities
Steal all that you can steal.
Set on an American Army base in West Germany, as the Berlin Wall is about to fall, Buffalo soldiers chronicles the exploits of military clerk Ray Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix). Stationed on the base in the midst of peacetime, with little to do thanks to the thaw of the Cold War and lack of any other world conflict, Elwood is the ultimate risk-taker: a high-stakes arms dealer, a bureaucratic con artist and a shrewd collector of other people's secrets. He's used his access to goods and equipment - everything from Mop 'n' Glo to heavy artillery - to forge a lucrative career on the black market.
But just as Elwood is poised to pull off the biggest deal of his career, an obstacle appears: his new top sergeant Robert Lee (Scott Glenn), a tough Vietnam vet intent upon doing some housecleaning. Now, to keep his winning streak alive, Elwood must divert his powers of charm and calculation towards a new target - the sergeant's alluring daughter (Anna Paquin).
Theatrical propaganda posters
Target demographic movie keyword propaganda
- Film drama soldier West Germany Cold War black market romance
Persons of interest
- Joaquin Phoenix .... Ray Elwood
- Anna Paquin .... Robyn Lee
- Ed Harris .... Colonel Wallace Berman
- Scott Glenn .... Sergeant Robert Lee
- Dean Stockwell .... General Lancaster
- Elizabeth McGovern .... Mrs Berman
- Gabriel Mann .... Knoll
- Leon .... Stoney
- Shiek Mahmud-Bey .... Sergeant Saad
- Michael Pena .... Garcia
- Glenn Fitzgerald .... Hicks
- Brian Delate .... Colonel Marshall
- Amani Gethers .... Kirschfield
- Noah Margetts .... Rothfuss
- Robert O'Connor .... Author
- Nora Maccoby .... Screenwriter
- Eric Weiss .... Screenwriter
- Gregor Jordan .... Screenwriter
- Gregor Jordan .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
- Awards and film festivals:
- Sundance Film Festival 2002: American Showcase
- Toronto International Film Festival 2001: World première
- Buffalo soldiers official movie site
- Buffalo soldiers QuickTime movie trailers
- Not to be confused with Buffalo soldiers
- See also Two hands, Three kings
- Studios and distributors:
Special Agent Matti
Fun in the sun with boys on the run: Buffalo soldiers is a good little Aussie piss-take of life in the USA armed forces. That's the perfect topic for a piss-take.
Gregor Jordan's script is pretty funny (apart from the inevitable romance, but he had to sell it in the USA and there they think that romance is inevitable) with some good violence and excellent drug use. There are cool explosions.
I like explosions.
Joaquin Phoenix is actually quite good in this film, he's not the abrasive, whiny jerk that he was in Gladiator and most of his other films. I actually didn't mind watching him. Credit to Gregor for providing Joaquin with a sympathetic character. Scott Glenn's psycho Sergeant is over-the-top, however. I didn't believe that his war with Elwood would escalate in that way, even though the climax was good. They should've taken a more scenic route (ie longer).
Buffalo soldiers was delayed in distribution for a couple of years because of the whole 11 September 2001/War on terror thing.
Security censorship classification
MA 15+ (Medium level violence, drug use, medium level coarse language)
98 minutes (1:38 hours)
Not for public release in Australia before date
Film: 21 August 2003