Taps (1981)

Taps Quote: “Was I scared! I must have lost twenty pounds, all of it brown.” – General Harlan Bache

If you thought our “Red Dawn” episode was unpredictable and juvenile, buckle up for “Taps.” This military-versus-civilians, young-against-old, leaders-versus-condominiums drama from 1981 introduced the world to Sean Penn, Tom Cruise, Timothy Hutton, and the king of wacky screen deaths, Giancarlo Esposito.

“Taps” also highlighted what was so great about George C. Scott’s portrayal of General George S. Patton, what was so terrible about Junior ROTC, how TikTok could have saved Bunker Hill Academy, and why young Gene Lyons always had a coin up his ass.

Hear Judge Ash preside over John Rambo’s involuntary manslaughter trial and draw the lines between “Taps” and “Les Miserables.” Witness a beloved Gene arguing that “Taps” is basically Shakespeare. And discover the secrets of the Hot Carl and the Stinky Pinky with Dick Ebert.”

Plot Summary: “Taps” Bunker Hill Military Academy has been targeted by real estate developers for demolition. The students, outraged at the thought of their school being turned into condominiums, vow to fight back. Led by Cadet Maj. Brian Moreland (Timothy Hutton), they stage a school-wide rebellion that ends with them in charge of the campus. After winning over the headmaster (George C. Scott), Brian and his fellow cadets, Alex (Sean Penn) and David (Tom Cruise) face their toughest battle yet with the Army.

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