a few good men was a popular and critically acclaimed movie when it was released in 1992. it is the story of a military trial provoked by the death of a marine at guantanamo bay. 23 years later, if the public remembers anything about the film, it is the dramatic climax when tom cruise agitates jack nicholson into shouting “u can’t handle the truth!” at him.
u can’t handle the truth.
this video from my youtube channel, u can’t handle the truth, is named after this famous line, but (SPOILER ALERT) it presents an ending that probably would have gotten nicholson’s character colonel jessup more sympathy.
the question kendrick ordered the code red, didn’t he? (at :16) is a tag question. tag questions are commonly used to confirm information rather than directly inquire about something. the direct question in this case would be did kendrick order the code red?
a tag question consists of a statement, (kendrick ordered the code red) and a tag made up of an auxiliary and a pronoun (didn’t he?). when the statement is affirmative the tag must be negative and vice versa.
kiefer sutherland portrayed lieutenant kendrick in a few good men.
in the movie, kendrick is an officer on colonel jessup’s staff, and code red is a tactic involving physical and psychological abuse. it is applied to a mediocre marine named santiago serving under jessup’s command but it goes too far and leads to santiago’s death. after an investigation, jessup is tied to the murder and eventually brought to trial.
at :24 the accuasation against colonel jessup is that he cut guys loose, specifically the marines responsible for applying the code red to santiago. the idea is that when the investigation started to connect jessup to the code red, he didn’t continue to defend these marines’ actions.
the late j.t. walsh, a favorite hollywood actor of mine, plays lieutenant colonel markinson in a few good men.
at :27 colonel jessup is accused of ordering markinson, another officer on his staff, to sign a phony transfer order. phony means false, fake or not authentic.
at :29 one last accusation is levelled against colonel jessup: doctoring the law books. doctoring means falsifying or tampering with.
the action of doctoring does not require a doctor.
finally, at :42 the prosecutor tells colonel jessup that he is entitled to answers. this means he believes he has the right to require the colonel to answer his questions.
have u seen a few good men? did u like it? are u familiar with the line “u can’t handle the truth”? have u ever heard someone use it? share your observations under leave a reply