1980s Biloxi Blues (1988)

Published on February 20th, 2013 | by Chris


Biloxi Blues (1988)

Movie directed by:
Mike Nichols

Reviewed by:
On February 20, 2013
Last modified:February 20, 2013


An excellent commentary on many subjects, most notably life itself.... Not really so much a war movie at all.

Biloxi Blues (1988)

Based on Neil Simon's play (and he also does screenwriting duty here), Biloxi Blues follows Army recruit Eugene Jerome (Matthew Broderick) through basic training at Biloxi MS in 1945.  Hilarity ensues.

The movie is basically Jerome's journal (which he writes in throughout the movie) of his experiences at boot camp.  From the relationships he forms, especially with the nerdy but faithful Epstein (Corey Parker), the stereotypical "big guy" Wykowski (Matt Mulhern) and of course, the nearly-psychotic drill sergeant Toomey (Christopher Walken.)

What this film is not, is an action piece of any kind.  What it is, though, is a typically-stage like series of comedic elements, based on the various escapades of the recruits.  But that's not the whole story.  Underneath that comedic cover is a vast undercurrent of seriousness.  Tales of growing up and coming of age (boot camp in general and their field trip to the local prostitute).. tales of growing old (Toomey's eventual meltdown) and remaining relevant.  Commentaries on religion, sexuality, going to war, and so much more.  If there's a flaw, its the "Seinfeld"-ness of the whole thing.  That stereotypical "Jewish" thing that gets overplayed so often.  I realize that's on purpose, but hey, I'm writing a review and I have to dig up a couple of negativities here!

Broderick is his usual self here.  I hate to say it but at this time he sort of still had this whole Ferris Bueller thing going on that stuck to him.  And its still quite evident here.  Not to really detract from the performance, but the comparison, unfair as it is, is unavoidable, and pretty plain.  Walken, though, absolutely steals the show with his calm-yet-crazy sarcasm.

Really, though, in the best traditions of storytelling and movie making, Biloxi Blues is less a movie about war and death, and a movie about life.  So for that I'm giving it a 3.5/5.

Biloxi Blues Biloxi Blues
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Matthew Broderick stars as a naïve army recruit looking for action - though not the battle kind - in Neil Simon's hilarious comedy about boot camp during WWII.The year is 1945 and Eugene Morris Jerome (Broderick) finds himself far from the comforts of his Brooklyn home after being sent to basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Brand: Universal Studios Home Video
Manufacturer: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
  • Matthew Broderick
  • Christopher Walken
  • Matt Mulhern
  • Corey Parker
  • Markus Flanagan


  • Shrink-wrapped


Customer reviews
Average Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE, GREAT PRICE, November 7, 2017
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This review is from: Biloxi Blues (DVD)
I had been looking for this movie for a while so I was happy to not only find it on Amazon but for a great price. Love this movie!

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, March 15, 2017
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This review is from: Biloxi Blues (DVD)
Not a box office smash but a solid production with some very insightful story telling and dialogue.

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bootcamp Wars, April 21, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Biloxi Blues (DVD)
Biloxi Blues is one of Neil Simon's most moving comedies. The famous Simon one-liners are built into the play in the person of Eugene Jerome (played by Matthew Broderick as a thinly disguised Simon himself), whose voice-over narration is that of a comic writer looking back on the often excruciating experience of boot camp just before the end of World War II.

Eugene quips, speaking in retrospect and in the character of the young recruit, but more often he expresses frustration, anger, anxiety, or regret, as he learns to cope with Americans from all over the United States, some of whom do not share his outlook or sense of values.

There are formidable, sharply etched characters, besides that of Eugene Jerome. Arnold Epstein, Eugene's highly principled friend, is loathe to compromise his values, even if it means isolation, humiliating punishments, and confrontation with the sergeant in charge. Then there is Sgt. Toomey, brilliantly played by Christopher Walken... Read more

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Biloxi Blues (1988) Chris

Summary: An excellent commentary on many subjects, most notably life itself.... Not really so much a war movie at all.


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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.

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