When I see 90’s movies like “A few good men”, the authenticity of script writers and actors stands out. The plots were so excellently crafted and performed that it all looks natural and powerful.
A Few Good Men is primarily a play by Aaron Sorkin, first produced on Broadway by David Brown in 1989. It tells the story of military lawyers at a court-martial who uncover a high-level conspiracy in the course of defending their clients, two United States Marines accused of murder. In the movie portrayal of the play by the same name in 1992, it was start studded with Tom Cruise, the legendary Jack Nicholson and Demi moore with Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, Wolfgang Bodison, James Marshall, J. T. Walsh, and Kiefer Sutherland in supporting roles.
The film covers the court-martial of two U.S. Marines, Lance Corporal Harold Dawson and Private Louden Downey, who killed a fellow Marine, Private William Santiago, at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Santiago compared unfavorably to his fellow Marines, had poor relations with them, and failed to respect the chain of command in attempts at being transferred to another base. An argument evolves between base commander Colonel Nathan Jessup and his officers: while Jessup’s executive officer, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Markinson, advocates that Santiago be transferred immediately, Jessup regards this as akin to surrender and orders Santiago’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Kendrick, to train Santiago to become a better Marine.
In the final showdown between Daniel Kaffe (Tom Cruise) and Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson), a heart-tending dialogue unravels with Jessup delivering the unforgettable monologue on how we take soldiers for granted and greatly contextualizes the movie — they really are a good men. Neither of them is bad, yet the priority each gives their intention makes all the difference.
The full script of the scene here.