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Southern Comfort (1981)

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During a routine exercise, a team of National Guards are threatened by angry and violent locals.

Director:

Walter Hill

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keith Carradine ... Spencer
Powers Boothe ... Hardin
Fred Ward ... Reece
Franklyn Seales ... Simms
T.K. Carter ... Cribbs
Lewis Smith ... Stuckey
Les Lannom ... Casper
Peter Coyote ... Poole
Alan Autry ... Bowden (as Carlos Brown)
Brion James ... Trapper
Sonny Landham ... Hunter
Allan Graf ... Hunter
Ned Dowd ... Hunter
Rob Ryder Rob Ryder ... Hunter
Greg Guirard Greg Guirard ... Cajun Couple
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Storyline

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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the land of hospitality... unless you don't belong there. See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Switzerland | UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Prey See more »

Filming Locations:

Caddo Lake, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$116,943, 27 September 1981

Gross USA:

$5,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's bayou swamp region is a place known as "Uncertain" where the movie was extensively filmed. It is situated in Caddo Lake in Texas, USA. See more »

Goofs

The M-60 machine gun and the M-16 rifles are repeatedly shown firing blanks on automatic and semi-automatic fire settings, respectively, but without the required blank adapters covering the muzzles. Blank adapters cause a back-up of gas pressure within the barrel, a function normally performed by fired bullets, which allows the weapons to cycle and reload automatically. Blank adapters are clearly visible attachments; without them, the weapons would have to be cycled (i.e. reloaded) manually after each individual blank is fired. These are obviously Hollywood weapons which have had their barrels partially plugged sufficiently to perform the function of blank adapters, while making them appear more like weapons that most viewers are familiar with. See more »

Quotes

Cajun Trapper: I ain't gonna kill y'all if I don't got ta... you got a bayou over dere... take it... stay to the west side... you're gonna find a road about a mile up dere.
Hardin: Do you mind tellin' us what the Hell this is all about?
Cajun Trapper: It real simple... we live back in here... dis is our home, and nobody don't fuck with us.
Hardin: [pointing at Bowden, who is hanging dead from a tree] What about HIM?
Cajun Trapper: What about 'im?
Hardin: Did he do it to himself or did your friends help him out?
Cajun Trapper: [fires shot at Hardin's feet] Now, if I was you all, ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in MacGruber (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Song "Parlez-nous à Boire
Dewey Balfa
Published by Flat Town Music Co.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An unexpected surprise that surpasses even my expectations.
16 December 2002 | by mhasheiderSee all my reviews

A bizarre yet excellent paranoia thriller that takes place in a swamp in the Louisana where eight National Guard members who are on a routine reconnaissance excerise, unwillingly and intentionally start an exhausting battle of wills and survival with some Cajuns who know the swamps like if their own backyard.

Director Walter Hill ("48 Hours", "Undisputed") and his screen-writers (David Giler and Michael Kane) have unveiled an expected surprise that surpasses even my expectations of a top-notch thriller. The trio have borrowed the backdrop from one of those not-so-smart slasher movies like "Friday the 13th", then change the location of the story to the Louisana Bayou, and give the viewer characters that we may like.

As for the cast, Keith Carradine and Powers Boothe emerge here to give the best performances. Boothe is good as Hardin, who came to the unit as a transfer from Texas while Carradine is the relatively easy-going Spencer. Fred Ward and Alan Autry also deliver here as two members who are both troublesome in two different ways. Ward is the bully who doesn't need much to provoke a fight with anyone and Autry is the emotionally shell-shocked soldier whose fragile feelings are rocked when the unit's leader, Sargeant Poole (Peter Coyote) is unexpectedly shot and killed.

Some of the locals that the team run into are either harmless or polite instead of being stereotyped. However, the Cajuns that are seeking revenge are about as hard to find as the shark in the first half of "Jaws".

Even a few of the Hill regulars: musician Ry Cooder, photographer Andrew Laszlo, and production designer John Vallone add another key element to the movie. The look, the feel, and especially - the music fit the atmosphere like it should be and I was satisfied with that.

Plus, the movie ads for "Southern Comfort" don't lie here and what happens in the film shows very clearly why.


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