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General‘s Daughter (Movie Review)

Mike Bobbitt

Staff member
Directing Staff
Reaction score
General‘s Daughter
Movie Review

Plot Details: This review reveals minor details about the movie‘s plot.

I have a love/hate relationship with military movies. Being ex military myself, I can‘t watch one without ripping apart any inaccuracies in it.

This naturally means that anyone who knows me is often reluctant to catch a movie of this type in case they are subjected to one of my patented rants. Fortunately for my movie going companion, The Generals Daughter was a flick I both enjoyed and found little fault in.

The basic plot is a simple murder mystery set on a Southern military base, with a not a few complications thrown in. A beautiful young female officer is brutally raped (or so it appears) and murdered. John Travolta and Madeline Stowe play the CID Warrant Officers assigned to the investigation which it appears has a few complications.

First complication, the victims father is the Base Commander, a well respected war hero and General Officer played by James Cromwell. Second complication, the General has political ambitions. Third complication the General‘s staff especially his aide (Clarence Williams III) will do anything to protect the General.

Fourth complication, as the investigation proceeds it becomes obvious that the victim had a secret double life, which has something to do with her death. The final complication, Travolta‘s character when asked if he has a list of suspects, replies "everyone", he‘s not too far off in his estimate.

I won‘t go into the plot any further for those who have yet to see it. This is a well written, acted and paced thriller. There were two things that I enjoyed the most, and use as examples to illustrate why I believe this is a good movie.

First the cinematography, the setting in the deep south with its moss covered trees and ancient mansions serves to create a certain mood. A natural tension that heightens the suspense. The soundtrack with its mix of Cajun and Zydaco music also helps to enhance this mood.

The highlight of the movie is the scenes between Travolta and James Woods, who plays a "Psy Ops" Colonel and one of the suspects. The cat and mouse interviews between the two equally matched individuals are well done and powerful.

The Generals Daughter is not perfect and I found the ending a little rushed and lame. It did not seem to match the overall quality of the remainder of the film. While the murderer was a bit of a surprise, that was only because there were so many suspects to begin with.

Overall though I did enjoy it, and oh yeah if there were any military technical flaws, I guess I missed them this time out.