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Tigerland

Threat advisory: Severe - Severe risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

1971. A nation stands divided over the escalating war in Vietnam. Thousands of young Americans lie dead on foreign soil. And at Fort Polk, Louisiana USA, thousands more prepare to join them.

The spectre of combat hangs over the men of A Company, Second Platoon, as they enter the final stage of infantry training. They will be sent to the war, but each man deals with this prospect in his own way. Private Jim Paxton (Matt Davis), notebook in hand, expects the war to inform his writing - a romantic notion drawn from Hemmingway and James Jones. Miter (Clifton Collins Junior) hopes to prove himself as a man. Cantwell (Thomas Guiry) simply resigns himself to the inevitable, Wilson (Shea Whigham), with disturbing zeal, lusts for battle. One man's defiance, however, galvanises every member of the platoon. Soon after Roland Bozz (Colin Farrell) joins A Company, the lines of opinion that divide the conscience of the nation begin to penetrate the ranks of the soldiers. Just released from the base stockade, Bozz wants out of they Army and he stages small acts of protest.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Tigerland image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film war Vietnam training USA soldiers

Persons of interest

  • Colin Farrell .... Roland Bozz
  • Matt Davis .... Private Jim Paxton
  • Clifton Collins Junior .... Miter
  • Thomas Guiry .... Cantwell
  • Shea Whigham .... Wilson
  • Richard Richardson .... Johnson
  • Neil Brown Junior .... Kearns
  • Rhynell Brumfield .... Dickson
  • Keith Ewell .... Sergeant Oakes
  • Stephen Fulton .... Sergeant Drake
  • Matt Gerald .... Sergeant Eveland
  • Cole Hauser .... Sergeant Cofa
  • Chris Huvane .... Barnes
  • Tory Kittles .... Ryan
  • Shamari Lewis .... Lukins
  • James Macdonald .... Sergeant Thomas
  • Michael McGruther .... Coogan, Writer
  • Dane Northcutt .... Hicks
  • Afemo Omilani .... Sergeant Landers
  • Ross Klavan .... Screenwriter
  • Joel Schumacher .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Biloxi blues: Millennium edition.

In this 1988 film starring Matthew Broderick, a bunch of boys get basic training on and off the Army base during World War II. It's a warm and funny flick with the exception of some institutionalised homophobia (gay men and women erode the morale of soldiers, as the Greeks and Israelis will attest - not).

Tigerland has a bunch of young men getting basic training on and off the base during the Vietnam War, with special tutelage by an anti-hero with a large chip on his shoulder. It's a warm and scary flick that's occasionally funny with the exception of some institutionalised homophobia (don't ask, don't tell).

The difference between these two films is that the former is bright and breezy while the latter is dark and psychotic. The cinematography is cool, ranging from black and white to sepia tone to high key to full blown Technicolour. Sometimes the camera sits still and watches like a fly on the wall, sometimes it burrows into the brains of the terrified soldiers and sometimes you don't even realise that it's happened until it's already over.

Colin presents a dark man of mystery (the knight of swords, if that means anything to you) who battles the establishment, playing it at its own game and winning. However, like any good hero, he has an achilles heel: he makes a friend when all he wants are enemies. That friend is the almost too likeable Jim Paxton, played by the very likeable Matt (the Knight of Wands, if that means anything to you). The more they bond the weaker Bozz' armour becomes until he has to sacrifice himself physically and emotionally for Jim's ideals. It's a great story, made poignant by the fact that your enemy is your ally.

A tertiary character is portrayed brilliantly by Afemo Omilani; Sergeant Landers is a deep, rich soul with a wider range of emotional and mental states than some of the secondary characters. He's the kind of man you could make a film about and still have material for a sequel.

Tigerland is a great war film that you have to see to understand the true meaning of war. Tigerland is to grunts as Das boot is to boats.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Disc: Single layer, single side
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: 1.85:1
  • Special features:
    • Commentary: Joel Schumacher
    • Featurette: also on video
    • Screen test: Colin Farrell
    • Trailers: Theatrical, 2 TV spots
  • Subtitles: English

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level sex scene, medium level coarse language)

Surveillance time

101 minutes (1:41 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 18 October 2001 - Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
Film: 25 October 2001 - Brisbane
DVD rental: 13 March 2002
VHS rental: 13 March 2002
DVD retail: 13 November 2002
VHS retail: 13 November 2002

Cinema surveillance images

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