A Few Good Men

Corrected entry: The judge of the military court martial would be wearing black robes, just like civilian trials. In every scene the judge is only wearing his uniform, which in reality he would be wearing under the robes. The only time a judge at a court martial would not be wearing robes is in a forward deployment area, not Washington DC.

Correction: I was a military Paralegal "Chief Legalman" for 16 years. I worked in many courts-martial with our JAG attorneys and our military judges never wore black robes. For Special Courts-Martial, judges would wear Uniform of the Day and for General Courts-Martial they would wear their dress uniform.

Corrected entry: When Danny aproaches Jack with the news that the defendants were given an order, he introduces Jo to Jack. However he just introduces her as "Downy's Lawyer Jo" Ten seconds later Jack refers to her as Commander. How did he know this?

Correction: She is wearing a uniform with her patches & pins, a member of the armed forces knows how to identify rank by this means.

Corrected entry: Just after Jack Nicholson has admitted giving the order for a code red and Kevin Bacon starts reading him his rights Nicholson turns to the judge and says 'Colonel'. Earlier the judge tells Nicholson to refer to him as either 'sir' or 'your honour'. At no time are we informed that the judge is of colonel rank. Either he is and we are not told or Nicholson has fluffed his lines and refers to his own rank.

Correction: In the first courtroom scene as the judge is entering the court and the members are asked to rise, he is introduced by the bailiff as a Colonel. Plus the judge is wearing a military uniform and his colonel's eagles are sitting on his shoulders for the world to see.

After his confession of ordering the Code Red, Jessop asks, "What the hell is this?" "Colonel, what's going on, I did my job. I'd do it again. I'm gonna get on a plane and go on back to my base."

Corrected entry: Danny is at softball practice when Commander Galloway confronts him about the case. Since it is early October when the story takes place, they would not be playing softball.

Correction: Why can't you play softball in October? I spent 20 years in the military and there was always a Fall and a Spring softball league. Many games were played in October.

Corrected entry: When Markinson kills himself he puts his weapon to his left temple, however when Kaffee recounts the story he says Markinson "put his pistol in his mouth. . ."

Ian Hunt

Correction: In the original film version, Markinson does indeed put the pistol in his mouth. I believe it has been showed edited in the television version. But in the original film, he places the pistol in his mouth. You can even hear it when he does this. I'm not quite sure how one would describe it, be it a sound his tongue makes or possibly hitting his teeth, but he puts the pistol in his mouth. And it is haunting.

Corrected entry: Near the end of the film, Lt. Kaffee asks Col. Jessip, "Lt. Kendrick ordered the Code Red, didn't he? Because that's what you told Lt. Kendrick to do." Then Capt. Ross shouts "object", but Kaffee keeps going, stating how Jessip cut the defendants loose after the plan went bad. During this tirade, both Ross and the Judge shout at Kaffee. At one point, the Judge says to Kaffee, "Consider yourself in contempt!" However, at the very end of the movie, Kaffee leaves the courtroom on his own. No procedure is conducted relating to him being charged with contempt of court as the Judge had ordered. Did the Judge forget about it? How about the bailiff, or Ross (as a prosecutor)? Are we supposed to just forget about the fact that Kaffee should technically have been arrested?

Correction: This is a question, not a mistake. The judge wants to see the tirade play out, so he specifically says "Consider yourself in contempt" instead of "I am holding you in contempt". This gives him the leeway of interpretation and can decide later if he actually wants to charge Kaffee with contempt.


Corrected entry: When Kaffey and Ross are having a beer discussing the case, Ross says, "I don't believe your clients belong in jail, but I don't get to make that decision". The thing is, as the prosecutor, he DOES get to make that decision. He has the authority to not only negotiate plea deals but also to drop charges altogether if he feels there isn't enough evidence to support them.

Correction: First of all, Ross tried to offer a deal but Caffey rejected it. Secondly, Ross could not drop the charges because the evidence supported bringing the two Marines to a court martial. And third, Ross could make recommendations to the court regarding sentencing but does not have the final say. The judge does.


Also, a military prosecutor in a court-martial has a lot less leeway in such matters than a civilian prosecutor would in civilian court.

Corrected entry: In the opening scene with the Marines marching, many of the Marines have blood stripes (those are the red stripes going down the dress blues). The problem is that a few of the guys are Lance Cpls and under- you must be a Cpl. to receive your blood stripes.

Correction: Having just watched the opening scene, there are very few marines in the drill team with blood stripes on their trousers. However. all of the PFCs and Lance Corporals are wearing trousers without blood stripes.

Corrected entry: Prior to leaving for Cuba, Demi Moore (who is wearing whites) reminds Cruise (who is wearing khakis) that the uniform requirement for the base is whites. Upon their arrival in Guantanamo, Demi is wearing khakis and Cruise and his partner are wearing whites.

Correction: Demi Moore never mentions the uniform requirement is whites. Kevin Pollack mentions prior to their arrival in Cuba to wear whites. It wasn't because it was a requirement, but because of the heat.

Corrected entry: Tom Cruise has one bar on his right collar on his uniform. He is a Lieutenant. A Lieutenant in the Navy has two bars, as shown on Kevin Bacon's uniform in their first scene.

Correction: Bacon is a captain in the Marine Corps, hence his two bars.

Brian Katcher

Correction: Kaffee is a lieutenant (junior grade), which is one silver bar. A full lieutenant is two silver bars. Both are just called lieutenant.


Corrected entry: A United States Marine does not wear his cover (hat) indoors unless he is under arms and a Marine also does not salute without wearing a cover. Therefore, Marines generally do not salute indoors, which was done in the movie a number of times.

Correction: Not correct. Apart from the salute by LCpl Dawson at the end of the trial, the only Marines wearing a cover and saluting indoors are the MP guards. You can see that the MPs are either 'literally' under arms by carrying a sidearm or 'symbolically' under arms by wearing a duty belt.

Corrected entry: At the end of the scene where Danny and Sam are walking down the street pushing Sam's child in a stroller they are both on the sidewalk. Danny opens his car door and looks back at Sam and Sam is now up a flight of stairs with the stroller.

Correction: There is a short amount of time Sam is out of the picture and it is long enough for him to have carried the stroller up the steps.

Mister Ed

Corrected entry: In the scene where Markinson surprises Danny in the backseat of his car you can tell he is not really driving the car because it is a straight road and he is constantly turning the wheel back and forth.

Correction: Danny drives an old car from the 60s that has never been restored, so the steering would be VERY loose. Even on straight roads you would have to move the steering wheel a lot just to make small corrections.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Danny comes in drunk after the bug scene with Downey not being at the meeting, Danny comes in a door from the back of the apartment. Nobody EVER came in that door and they never do again. In fact, no matter how hard you look, you can't find that door again anywhere.

Correction: Actually, you can see the door in the first scene when the lawyers are working together, when Demi Moore is walking around on the phone.

Corrected entry: One of Kaffee's lines of questioning to Jessup centres around the lack of a phone call from Santiago upon learning he was being transferred. "Upon hearing the news that he was finally getting his transfer, Santiago was so excited that do you know how many people he called? Zero. No-one. Not one call to his parents saying he was coming home. Not one call to a friend saying 'Can you pick me up at the airport?'" The trouble is, Santiago was requesting a transfer, not a discharge. Had the transfer in fact been granted, he would have been going to some other USMC posting, which could be practically anywhere in the world.

Correction: True, he was requesting a Transfer, officially known as a "Permanent Change of Station" (PCS). With PCS moves, the serviceman is usually granted as much as 30 days of Leave (vacation). Santiago may have chosen to go home for a period of time before reporting to his new duty station.


Corrected entry: Just prior to the performance of the Marine Silent Drill Platoon at the very beginning of the movie, the scene opens with an image of the U.S. flag blowing in an apparently brisk wind. As the scene continues, trees in the background are essentially motionless and leaves on the ground are not moving.

Correction: I have heard, rather than felt, the wind blowing through the trees countless times throughout my life. Air currents move independently at different altitudes and locations.


Corrected entry: When the drill team is performing at the beginning of the movie, they begin with fixed bayonets. Without returning them to their sheaths, they are missing during the rest of the routine.

Correction: While the drill team is conducting movements in a column formation, they have fixed bayonets. However, when we see the drill team conducting movements without bayonets, they are in completely different types of formations. It is very likely that they unfixed their bayonets prior to changing their formations.

Corrected entry: At the end, Dawson and Downey were convicted only of "conduct unbecoming a U.S. Marine," a charge they would not have received a Dishonorable Discharge for; they would probably have received a General Discharge, or at worst a Bad Conduct Discharge.

Correction: The discharge is not directly related to the charge. The court-martial decides what type of punishment to hand down. Clearly since Santiago died, they felt the Dishonorable Discharge was warranted.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: The Judge who presides over the court martial is played by the same actor who played the judge in the court martial of the A-Team.

Correction: Hardly trivia. He has also played a military person in several other movies such as Air Force One which isnt really trivia.

Mister Ed

Corrected entry: In the first scene with Danny and Jo, in her office, one button on his shirt is buttoned, unbuttoned, and buttoned again. Also, there is a stain on his shirt, and then it's gone, and the apple gets bigger as he eats it.

Correction: If any button on Kaffee's uniform was undone, his shirt would be halfway open. The buttons stay the same and the stain is always there. It just looks different as camera and light angles change.

Correction: When Danny first walks into Jo's office his second button down on his shirt is unbuttoned. When he sits down you can see his shirt fall open. When the camera goes to Jo then the scene cuts back to Danny, his button is buttoned.

Continuity mistake: During the trial at the end, Jessup struggles with the MPs to get to Danny Kaffee. After the struggle, his tie is all out of place. In the following close-up shots, it's re-aligned, before becoming completely askew as Jessup goes to retrieve his hat.

More mistakes in A Few Good Men

Col. Nathan R. Jessup: Sweet dreams, son.
Lt. Daniel Kaffee: Don't call me son. I am a lawyer and officer in the United States Navy, and you're under arrest, you son of a bitch.

More quotes from A Few Good Men
More trivia for A Few Good Men

Answer: It's something done to one trooper in a unit who is not pulling his load, to let him know his teammates are tired of him making them look bad. It can range from a beating after lights out to scrubbing a soldier who won't shower with toilet brushes and Comet. (And yes, both of those are from my own military experience, though I wasn't the victim!) It's meant to give a warning and doesn't normally harm anything but the victim's pride. They are strongly against regulations in the past year or two as several soldiers were injured by their unit getting overzealous, just like in the movie.

Grumpy Scot

More questions & answers from A Few Good Men

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