Buffalo Soldiers

Buffalo Soldiers

Gregor Jordan (2001)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Its US release delayed owing to the post "9/11", post-Iraq War climate, this entertaining and nihilistic black comedy now carries a greater political significance than ever could have been intended. You know you're in satirical territory when a stoned US soldier stationed in Germany watches live news footage of the Berlin Wall coming down and asks: "Where's Berlin?". It's perhaps too easy to recall Catch-22 and MASH when watching Gregor Jordan's self-consciously hip adaptation of Robert O'Connor's novel, but the best bits could come from either - with a hint of Bilko thrown in. It presents the US military - as embodied by Joaquin Phoenix's charismatic wheeler-dealer Ray Elwood - as bored and morally bankrupt. But the film also makes the serious point that warriors in peacetime will go looking for conflict - Elwood seduces the daughter (Anna Paquin) of his brutal Vietnam-vet sergeant (Scott Glenn) while his black marketeering and drug-dealing escalate to gun-running.


American soldier Ray Elwood leads a comfortable life in Cold War Germany, selling everything from cleaning products to heroin on the black market, with his weak-willed commanding officer blissfully unaware. However, everything changes when a tough new sergeant arrives determined to clean up the base, while a profitable arms deal and the new arrival's teenage daughter only complicate matters further. Black comedy drama, with Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Harris, Anna Paquin and Scott Glenn.

Cast & Crew

Ray Elwood Joaquin Phoenix
Col Wallace Berman Ed Harris
Sgt Robert Lee Scott Glenn
Robyn Lee Anna Paquin
Mrs Berman Elizabeth McGovern
Gen Lancaster Dean Stockwell
Stoney Leon
Garcia Michael Pena
Knoll Gabriel Mann
Colonel Marshall Brian Delate
Sgt Saad Sheik Mahumd-Bey
Hicks Glenn Fitzgerald
Director Gregor Jordan
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: PathéGuidance: Contains violence, swearing and drug abuse. Available on: video and DVDReleased on: 18 Jul 2003
Drama Comedy