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The men of "C" Company have been brought to Guadalcanal as reinforcements in the campaign to seize the island from the Japanese. As they wait in the holds of a Navy transport, they contemplate their lives and how they may be affected by the invasion. On deck, Colonel Tall (Nick Nolte) talks with his commanding officer, Brigadier General Quintard (John Travolta), about the invasion and its importance. C Company lands on Guadalcanal and hikes to the interior of the island, seeing only sporadic clues that there is any Japanese presence at all. They arrive near Hill 210, a key Japanese position. The Japanese have placed a bunker housing several machine guns at the top of the hill, giving them full view of the valley below. Any force attempting to climb the hill can be easily cut down by machine-gun fire and mortar rounds. Shelling of the hill begins the next day at dawn. Shortly after, C Company attempts to take the hill and is instantly slaughtered by gunfire from the bunker. During the battle, Colonel Tall fiercely orders his field officer, Captain Staros (Elias Koteas) to charge directly toward the bunker, whatever the cost. Staros refuses, not wanting his men to be cannon fodder. The two reach a stalemate, so Tall decides to join Staros on the front line to see the situation for himself. By the time he arrives, the Japanese resistance seems to have lessened, and Tall's opinion of Staros seems to have been sealed. A small detachment of men perform a reconnaissance mission on Tall's orders to determine the strength of the Japanese bunker. Private Bell (Ben Chaplin) reports back, saying that there are about five machine guns in the bunker. He joins another small detachment of men, led by Captain Gaff (John Cusack), on a commando mission to take the bunker. The operation is a success and the rest of C Company are thus able to proceed with the larger mission of capturing the Japanese airfield in the center of the island. They are successful in this regard; the Japanese they find are largely malnourished and dying and put up little resistance. The unit is sent out on another mission further into the interior of the island. Witt and two other men are sent out but find that their unit is heavily outnumbered and must retreat, however, getting word back to Welsh will be difficult since they are surrounded. Witt decides to act as a decoy and lure the Japanese away from his two companions and the rest of their unit. He is quickly found by the Japanese and, in the course of retreating, is surrounded. As the Japanese move in to capture him, he raises his rifle and is instantly shot. The unit later finds his body and buries it on the island. The film ends with a new commanding officer taking over Staros' unit. Welsh and several other key characters are finished with their tours and leave the island.

Starring ... Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, John Cusack, James Caviezel,
Ben Chaplin, George Clooney, Woody Harrelson, Nick Nolte,
John C. Reilly, John Travolta, Elias Koteas, John Savage,
Jared Leto, Tim Blake Nelson, Nick Stahl

Director: Terrence Malick

Producers:
Robert Michael Geisler, Grant Hill, John Roberdeau


Year Released - Dec. 1998

Length - 170 minutes

Music Composer: Hans Zimmer

Movie Distributed by 20th Century Fox



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