Dead Presidents

   

 

                       You always said the marines and fightin' over in Korea made a man out of you.

 

The movie opens in 1969, as Anthony is about to graduate from school. Not wanting to go to college, but needing to get away from home to find himself, he enlists as a US marine, shortly after graduating high school. He is sent to VVietnam, leaving behind a family, a pregnant girlfriend (Rose Jackson), and a small time crook, Kirby, who is like a second father.

Joining Anthony in the military are two of his close friends, Skip and Jose. He also meets the gung ho Lt. Dugan and his partner Cleon, a religious yet deadly Staff Sergeant. During their tour in Vietnam as members of an elite recon unit, they experience the horror of war, losing several fellow Marines during combat. One of their squad is killed by stepping on a mine and another is the victim of terror tactics of the north vietnamese; he is disemboweled and castrated alive. The Marines also commit atrocities, including executing enemy prisoners and mutilating bodies. In one battle at night with NVA troops half of Anthony's team is killed; Dugan is killed after Skip "freezes up" during the gunfight when he is ordered to cover him. Cleon manages to hold off the enemy long enough for Anthony and the last of the crew to escape.

When Anthony finally comes back to the 1973, after two tours of duty, he discovers that returning to "normal" life isn't easy or pleasant. He finds his friend Skip, who used drugs during the war, is now a heroin addict. Jose after serving as a demolitions expert, during which he lost his hand, has become a pyromaniac. Cleon is now a devoted minister. And Kirby has since become legitimate due to police cracking down on his criminal business. Anthony is laid off from his job in a butcher shop and finds himself unable to support his daughter. His girlfriend admits to sleeping with another man to provide for her daughter (who may not even be Anthony's). Anthony meets his girlfriend's sister Delilah who always loved Anthony and decides to help him with an idea to get some money. Anthony, Kirby, Skip, Jose, Delilah and Cleon plot to rob an armoured van.

Skip and Cleon act as lookouts, Kirby is the getaway driver, Delilah waits in a dump truck across the street and Anthony and Jose hide under the loading docks, all armed. Though they plan the heist very carefully, it goes horribly wrong when a policeman stumbles on the scene. The policeman interferes resulting in Kirby attacking him only to be shot in the arm and Skip shooting him in the head. This causes the security guards to rebel, ending with Anthony and Delilah killing most and Delilah dying while saving Anthony as the truck leaves. After Kirby tries to block the truck with his car, Jose makes use of an excessive amount of explosives, destroying the armoured van and the cash inside. They escape with what money is left, but Jose is run over by a squad car he shoots and pinned to a wall.

The four are trying to lay low after the robbery. Cleon doesn't do so as he begins handing out cash to the churchgoers and buying a new cadillac car which he obviously can't afford. Anthony and Skip go out giving presents they bought to the poor on Christmas. Cleon is finally arrested at his church and gives up the other thieves. NYPD storm Skip's apartment to find that he has died of a heroin overdose. As Kirby and Anthony prepare to leave the country they are attacked at his bar by the police and arrested (though Kirby may have been killed while trying to let Anthony escape). Anthony is tried, convicted, and sent to prison for 15 years to life; he berates the judge before being taken away as he stated how he served his country. The last scene shows him on a bus headed for prison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Movie Script

Directed by Albert Hughes
Allen Hughes
Produced by Michael Bennett
Darryl Porter
Albert Hughes
Allen Hughes
Written by Albert Hughes
Allen Hughes
Michael Henry Brown
Starring Larenz Tate
Keith David
Chris Tucker
Music by Danny Elfman
Distributed by Hollywood Pictures
Release date(s) October 4, 1995
Running time 119 mins.
Language English
Budget $84 million

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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