Southern Comfort (1981)

 


 

The bayou has its own law… and they just broke it. See »

A squad of National Guards on an isolated weekend exercise in the Louisiana swamp must fight for their lives when they anger local Cajuns by stealing their canoes. Without live ammunition and in a strange country, their experience begins to mirror the Vietnam experience.

Written by
Keith Loh <[email protected]>

Genre: Adventure,Drama,Thriller,War

Southern Comfort (1981)
   
Release Date: 22 January 1982 (Finland)
Country: USA , Switzerland , UK
Director: Walter Hill
Cast:
  • Keith Carradine
  • Powers Boothe
  • Fred Ward
  • Franklyn Seales
  • T.K. Carter
  • Lewis Smith
  • Les Lannom
  • Peter Coyote
  • Alan Autry
  • Brion James
  • Sonny Landham
  • Allan Graf
  • Ned Dowd
  • Rob Ryder
  • Greg Guirard


33 Responses to Southern Comfort (1981)

  1. mymovie2000
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    Do you think like me: yhe end scene means the military wants to kill them in the end scene? and all killings was commanded by the USA military??

  2. TomiusJ
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    My vote is for Deliverance by a mile, though they are both excellent films with similar tones and stories. The strange feeling you get at the end of this film and at the beginning of Deliverance are, tone-wise, exactly the same in my opinion.

    I like these calm little moments before the storm. It reminds me of Beethoven.

  3. chrismahon2005
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    When boothes carridine and the black guy walk up to the captured cajun,and ask who hit him,and the black dude says "did you have to cut of his arm to?" haha,that bit made me laugh.

  4. dozyd87
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    there a listing for ‘Southern Comfort (2009)’ on IMDB. Is this film being remade or is that something completely different?

  5. NiceGuyTommy
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    Man alive, I was chewing my fingers off. The Cajun dance and the two national guardsmen trying to escape the ‘evil’ Cajuns. Brilliant. Walter Hill is an absolutely brilliant director, and ‘Southern Comfort’ is a brilliant film.

    And I loved the abrupt ending. The glance that the two soldiers give each other is somehow heartwarming, nerve-jangling and gently amusing. Brilliant from start to finish.

    "You’re a very brave audience" William Castle, ‘Homicidal’

  6. skronish
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    I watched this film on an extremely scratched disk and the entire assault on the cajun trapper’s house was basically gone. Could anyone explain to me what happened to Bowden to make him stop talking? I looked at scene selection and saw a picture of a dog attacking and another of Bowden with some red paint on his chest but that is all I have to go on.

    Thanks

  7. Rabbitp29
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    So what’s your favorite f(/[l<!ng character, huh?

    I’ll go for Pfc. Tyrone Cribbs.

    He was one cool cat.

  8. Sonatine97
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    Clearly some members of Bravo Team were either completely out of their depth or shouldn’t even be allowed to suit up in a uniform. So who do you think was the biggest liability/dumb ass in the group?

    For example, there was:

    Stuckey – the immature Pfc who fired blanks at the Cajuns as the team were paddling away in their canoes. It could be argued he was the cause of their problems because the Cajuns obviously had no idea his gun was loaded with blanks and probably had the idea these "outsiders" wanted them dead.

    "Coach" Bowden – a decent soldier at the beginning but panicked in the water, tipping all three canoes over; he also blew up Brion James’ well stocked cabin through his own personal need for revenge. And then completely lost the plot and had to be tied up.

    Sgt Casper – a deluded and incompetent leader who had no idea how to read the sun and find out where the Highway was even though he was advised enough times. As a consequence the patrol were walking deeper and deeper into trouble.

    Lonnie Reece – the gung-ho soldier boy, who insisted they take the canoes without even asking first. Not only that but be couldn’t be trusted given that he kept to himself a box of real bullets, leaving the rest of the team very much on their own. And he almost try to drown that Cajun too, even though there was no evidence to suggest it was him that killed Sgt Poole.

    They were all incompetent or at fault in their own particular way. But if I had to pick one, I think Bowden was the biggest ass because even though he was talking about the avenging angel, surely if he wanted complete revenge over the death of his friend Sgt Poole, he would have killed the Cajun at some point rather than just blow up his cabin. Doesn’t seem very "eye for an eye" to me just destroying someone’s hut, and of course it meant a load of valuable supplies such as food, guns and dynamite got destroyed as well, thus making it even more difficult for our team to survive the Swamps & the pursuing Cajuns.

    And I looked & I beheld a pale horse & the name that sat on him was Death & Hell followed with him.

  9. maxlovespants
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    Southern Comfort isn’t my favourite Hill movie…48 hours is my fav.

    But I do think if you had to pick out one movie that best represents Hill’s work, Southern Comfort would be it.

    The stylized action, the theme of being out of one’s element, the different, arhectypal, male characterizations, the societal comment…it’s pretty much the perfect Hill film.

    I love this damn movie.

    why shoot the breeze about it, when you could be about it

  10. Occult_Detective
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    Usually IMDB offers a schedule feature if a film is going to be appearing on tv this week. I’ve been searching my ass off to find this film, but thus no luck, and IMDB never mentioned it..

    and tonight I found the last two minutes of it on IFC just now.. But I didn’t want to ruin it for myself. So, does anyone know when about it should be showing again?

    Thanks.

    "You make a noise, Mr. 44 makes a noise.



    You ask a question, Mr. 44 answers it."

  11. joni46231
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    SPOILERS!!!

    My fiancé LOVES this movie and thought I might enjoy it as well. I loved the scenery and music, it’s even fun watching Coyote, Carradine and Booth trudging around the bayou.

    Personally, I found this film completely implausible, from Fred Ward’s character Reece’s silly attempts to make evil facial expressions that were almost laughable, although Fred Ward is an actor I generally like very much to watch in movies.

    Things that made it impossible to suspend disbelief (for me)… all this happened early on the first day!

    Stucky was allowed to shoot blanks at anyone or any thing that amused him, with never a hint at a real reprimand.

    After trudging through the swamps for a while (still on the FIRST day) they’re SO tired, they decide to illegally appropriate pirogues to facilitate their journey.

    Reece was allowed live ammunition “for his own personal use” during a military exercise where only blanks were to be used.

    Hardin was allowed to relieve Reece of his “stash” via a knife at Reece’s throat.

    ‘Coach’ Bowden flying off the handle at a joke, albeit in bad taste, but his reaction was WAY over the top… or so I thought until it occurred to me later in the film that because of the way Coach acted when Poole was shot, turning over his own boat, then Poole’s, then the last pirogue, losing all supplies, that perhaps Coach had more than the usual amount of admiration for Sgt Poole.

    In the following days, Coach painted a big red cross on his torso, and then quickly proceeded to blow up the shack of a Cajun who may or may not have been in cahoots with the Cajuns from whom they’d stolen the pirogues, and were made to believe they were being shot at with a machine gun and in turn shot Sgt Poole.

    Immediately after Poole was shot, and they’d made it to land, the soldiers were hiding behind the trees, avoiding being shot, and then moments later they were all in the water again, splashing around and making easy targets of themselves supposedly trying to retrieve Poole’s body.

    I don’t know… I could go on, there were many, MANY more things that just didn’t work for me in this movie, but somehow I’m thinking I’m the only one.

    I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

  12. Arachno
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    Okay there’s a lot of speculation that this is not straight training but really some kind of special ops deal. This is not a debate wether they get killed or rescued in the end. I want to debate : Was the military in on it.

    Let’s list the facts that points towards ”Military is in on it” or ”They just got lost”

    Clues for Military Operation :

    -The faulty map that leads straight to canoes.

    -The mysterious transfer from Texas to Baton Rouge of Hardin

    -The speech that Hardin makes to Spencer about this looking weird/staged

    -List yours !

    Clues and small refutals for ”They just got lost”

    -The Cajuns would probably have not attacked if that stupid motherfu.. had not shot them blanks. But then again they did already steal the boats and the army could have easily predicted that by leading them to boats they would steal them. Maybe the army predicted that the cajuns of that specific town would attack

    -Hardin was transfered to Baton Rouge because of his civilian job and there is nothing mysterious about it. Okay then why was he transferred ? We never know… military orders ??? I don’t know if that’s possible.

    -If it was a military operation, what could possibly the goal ? That is the best clue towards ”they just got lost” because it’s hard to figure out what the military would gain…

    Please add arguments !

  13. DonaldKnouse
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    I can’t get it on DVD, (I even tried Amazon) so I tried to make a DVD of the movie off of Encore.

    But it wouldn’t record because it was "Copywright Protected".

    Come on movie people. If you won’t sell me a DVD, let me make one.

  14. dalldorfw
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    I don’t get it.

  15. CaptGage
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    I was a bit stumped because he used a different name back then. So I came here and confirmed that. Yes, it is Alan Autry, who of course played in the TV series version of In The Heat of The Night. Glimpsed him on Grace Under Fire, I think, too. Anyhow, he’s the current mayor of Fresno, CA. Must be hard: Fresno’s always one of the worst towns in the country for unemployment!!!

  16. Frost612
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    What happened after

    We know they got out safe but what happened next they killed 2 of the cajuns but what about the rest of them clearly the one armed man as well as the one who got hit in the head were in on the killing and defilement of the weekend warriors how was it handled?

    any thoughts ideas?

    ///!sig!\\\ I view in flat, I AM politically correct, ask me about my politics

  17. susan-farmer1
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    Personally I prefer SC as the ending seems bettter to me, although both are very similar in general tone and feel

    Live Life Large

  18. russellsolomon
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    In the 70’s were there actual villages of Cajuns way out in the Bayou without telephones? Did they really just sing and dance and eat? If so, that would be pretty badass. Are there any such settlements of Cajuns like this today? I’ve driven through Louisiana on I-10 over the Atchafalaya river basin and couldn’t help thinking if Cajuns still lurk in those endless bayous.

  19. adamjg
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    Is there someplace online where I can watch this movie?

  20. paintedangels_andme
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    for example right at the very beginning when it spanned the swamps. it was very atmospheric and such. i appreciate i’ll never find a download of that. just wondered if anyone else liked it. i’m not really into the whole fiddle soundtrack but the score was good.

    ———-

    Pulled down by the undertow, never thought I could feel so low

  21. ciaran_hilton
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    Who thinks they should make a soundtrack,i love the music while they are walking through the swamp and the cajun music.If anyone knows anything about a soundtrack please respond

  22. ciaran_hilton
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    For all the people who absolutley love this movie give it a 10/10 and reply back once you have don So it can get on the top 250.Thanks

    "Civillian In Peace Soldier In War,I am the guard"-Southern Comfort

  23. illpoetikill
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    i think this film could have been a lot better were it not for the over usage of rascism. sure, givin the time and place there would be a good amount of hatred going on but when cribbs his self says, " i been hangin around *beep* my whole life and aint never cought a break!" i thought that was a bit much. i allways thought it would have been better for cribbs to have said " i been hangin around *beep* my whole life, and aint never been cought up in no *beep* like this!" that would have worked better and been more realistic i beleive.

  24. aroop_d
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    hey..just saw the film..looks like Severance copied a lot of plot points from this one..does anyone else think the same way..

  25. slimjim76
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    I know the US military was in a mess post Vietnam until Reagan came along but this lot take the biscuit

    Was long hair permitted in the NG in early 70’s? (The film was set in 1973), Sloppy weapons drill, what infantryman calls rounds or ammo "bullets"?….the list goes on

    I remember the National Guard didn’t come across great in First Blood too

    The Ry Cooder music was class though

  26. hydra9
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    *** possible spoilers ***

    Just watched this movie. The whole thing was GREAT, but the ending… WOW… It was so damn tense… right from when they saw the black truck and ran to it, then got taken to the village. That sense of waiting for something horrible to happen. Very creepy. In fact, I’d rate the final section of this movie up there with the best horror movies.

    Excellent film.

  27. LOPAN_NINJA
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    Why did those people around the area speak French? Is there really a French speaking minority in Louisiana?

    Or does it just add mystery to the film.

  28. toddrandall68
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    One of my favorite quotes is when Spencer says "now boys, the purpose of the Louisiana National Guard is to keep you darker boys away from decent southern women, but in the spirit of the New South, I have made full arrangements."

  29. raypdaley182
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    Right near the start he not only points a loaded weapon at someone but he also fires it. Which is an instantly arrestable offence under the laws of Military Justice.

    I’m amazed people weren’t suddenly running towards that spot to either help the person being fired upon or to kick the holy [email protected] out the person firing.

    Do the National Guard not have MP’s?

    Stuckey would have never been with them.

    He’d have been taken into custody and probably sectioned.

    The movie would be over and done within about 5 minutes.

    What gets me is no-one makes a big deal out of a non-com firing at an SNCO.

    It doesn’t matter that they are blanks, you can STILL kill someone with blank rounds and he wasn’t using a BFA.

  30. metallicant_1984
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    This movie takes place in the year 1973, at that time, the army(national gaurd) would be using the M-16 A2 or A3. The guns they use in this are the M-16 A1, which was disbanded for jamming during Vietnam. The visible diffrence between the A1 and A2,A3 models is the forward assist on the right side of the gun, the guns in this movie did not have them. This gun would not have been issued to the National Gaurd in 1973. Also, in the movie the men switch between blanks and live ammo a lot. To use a blank round you have to attach and device to the barrel to create enough pressure to work the action, with this on you cannot fire a live round, yet they go back and forth without

    changing anything on the gun. Good movie, but they needed a weapons advisor.

  31. russellsolomon
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    I think knowing a bit o’ French like "Nous rapportons les bateaux ! Ne nous blessez pas !" (We’ll bring the boats back! Don’t hurt us!) would have cut off this madness before it started!

  32. billymdma
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    Toward the end, Real Pigs are clearly demonstarted being shot, strewn up and disembollowed as part of the Cajun’s village festival.

    These scenes of animal mutilation are obviously comparable to what happens every day in the Abitoir.

    What gets me, though, is the fact that the movie Cannibal Holocaust(the plot of which isn’t a million miles away from Southern Comfort’s;lost in the forest,pissed off the locals,locals none too happy) is heavily cut where I’m from due to ‘animal cruelty;. From my perspective at least, the Animal Killings in CH were probably tamer than those depicted in SC, and the only animals killed were those that were eaten(the monkey,the turtle,the muskrat).

    I feel here that the movie CH was unfairly discriminated against,perhaps because of some unfounded notoerity imposed by the press/moral bridage/the people who came up with the term ‘Video Nasty’

  33. russellsolomon
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    I bet…

    I mean all those intestines falling out. What else could it be for?!?!?

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