Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Set in Washington D.C. during the Vietnam War era, Gardens of Stone concentrates on the trials and tribulations of the Arlington National Cemetery home guard. James Caan plays career soldier Sgt. Clell Hazard, who has come to the sad conclusion that Vietnam is unwinnable and that America should withdraw as soon as possible. His attitude is contrasted to that held by Private Jackie Willow (D.B. Sweeney), who wants nothing more in life than to go into battle for his country. Though Hazard cannot officially dissuade Willow from this yearning, he pulls a few surreptitious strings to change the lad's mind, including encouraging a renewed romance between Jackie and his former girlfriend Rachel (Mary Stuart Masterton). After so many big-budgeters, Coppola determined that Gardens would be a deliberately "small" picture, concentrating on personalities rather than opulence; the director's father, Carmine Coppola, supplied the music, while Peter Masterton and Carlyn Glynn, the real-life parents of Mary Stuart Masterton, play Mary's on-screen dad and mom. Gardens of Stone was adapted by Ronald Bass from the novel by Nicholas Proffitt.
cemetery, girlfriend, manipulation, military, recruit [soldier], sergeant, soldier, war