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A Few Good Men

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  568 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
This Broadway hit about the trial of two Marines for complicity in the death of a fellow Marine at Guantanamo Bay sizzles on stage. The Navy lawyer, a callow young man more interested in softball games than the case, expects a plea bargain and a cover up of what really happened. Prodded by a female member of his defense team, the lawyer eventually makes a valiant effort to ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Samuel French Trade (first published June 1990)
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Jan 12, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
It's a lot of fun to go back and see the source material for some of my favorite movies. This play would go on to become the Tom Cruise/Jack Nicholson movie and to launch Aaron Sorkin's career.

Some of the best Sorkin-style dialog started here, and it's a joy to imagine the intricate staging described in the play. However, the plot, characters and dialog were all tightened up for the movie, and it is simply better.

Still, for this fan, reading this was almost like seeing an alternate "director's c
May 25, 2015 Jeff rated it liked it
Such a well-crafted play that the movie pretty much is the play, just in real locations.
Dec 25, 2015 Alastair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aaron Sorkin is a phenomenal writer, but as with any human being, he has his limitations. This has become regrettably clear of late with The Newsroom: a show that spent much of its runtime brushing uncomfortably against those personal boundaries. His treatment of his women characters was troubling in a seemingly oblivious, unconscious way. Meanwhile, the "here's how it should be" moral high ground that worked so wonderfully in The West Wing felt progressively preachier the further it stepped fro ...more
Investigative journalist Nick Davies has chosen to discuss Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's All the President’s Men , on FiveBooks as one of the top five on his subject - Investigative Journalism, saying that:

“What is so good about All the President’s Men is that most books about journalists are full of gun fights and car chases – but that’s just not what the job involves. Woodward and Bernstein simply wrote a great, really detailed account of the work that went into the case. I still use sect
Dec 05, 2014 Quinn rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 23, 2016 Brendan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first read through took me a while, probably because I was memorizing parts as I went instead of reading straight through first. It many scenes it is essentially identical to the movie. There are a few scenes where there are some additions...and probably some subtractions but those were less noticeable.

I enjoyed that there isn't really a break between scenes and that they seamlessly flow from one into the next as the lights rise and fall on different parts of the stage.
Feb 22, 2015 Emma rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
snappy, very, very snappy.
Aug 02, 2009 SmarterLilac rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael P
Aug 23, 2009 Michael P rated it it was amazing
If you've seen the film then you've more or less experienced the play, though the famous "You can't handle the truth" comes off as less embellished in this version, but perhaps that's due to the lack of Jack Nicholson. Featuring Sorkin's now well known and equally respected rat-a-tat dialogue, it's an interesting book to look back on considering this is what brought him to such prominence. Even at the beginning of his career, he demonstrates an ability for showcasing language's great beauty.
Isaac Timm
Aug 19, 2011 Isaac Timm rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, 2011
What I like about this play is that the characters are created only out of their dialogue, there is minimal stage direction, sets or notes on what the playwright is looking for in the performance. For example in many Tennessee Williams or Arther Miller plays they have lengthy character explanations and notes on what feeling the play should have, not that that's a bad thing, but I like how A Few Good Men is just pulled forward by the character and their dialog colliding.
Jul 08, 2007 David rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Writers, Playwrights, Screenwriters
The original play by Aaron Sorkin before the screenplay and film. Amazing to see this master's early work. e.g. "You can't handle the truth!" is trampled over, buried deep in a monologue. Not the classic line it developed into for the film but as a setup for Kaffee to pay off later. "That's the truth isn't it colonel? I can handle it."
Dave Clapper
Jun 22, 2007 Dave Clapper rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays
I remember reading this well before the movie came out. I was part of a theater company that was comprised of seven men and one woman, so I was reading lots of plays with male-heavy casts. This had been highly recommended to me and I just thought it was "eh." Felt pretty much the same about the movie when it came out.
Jennifer W
Jul 28, 2011 Jennifer W rated it liked it
I like the movie better, but they followed the script pretty closely, so it's basically the same thing. I'd love to see this acted out on stage, though I'd have a hard time picture any other actors playing the parts. How do you compete with Jack Nicholson?
Apr 20, 2009 Pat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nactrslf4me
Did this as a production in an old historic courthouse where I live. Members of the audience were invited to sit in the jury box. It was a good show and a unique setting.
Matthew Aldridge
Sep 12, 2009 Matthew Aldridge rated it liked it
Shelves: playscript, fiction
Inevitably gets compared with the (excellent) film, and probably falls just short of it. Brisk and witty, but still tense - typical Sorkin.
Dec 17, 2012 Joseph rated it really liked it
I read this for class, and I'm glad I did, because it was certainly thought provoking. Not great literature, but not supposed to be
Aug 25, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Confusing to read. I'm going to watch the movie so I can see what's going on. I *think* it's good...?
Aug 10, 2015 JoAnn rated it liked it
many notable quotes :)
i just don't have any on-hand bc my teacher took my copy for annotations...
John Baggett
Jul 18, 2013 John Baggett rated it it was amazing
Over 100 pages of nothing but Sorkin's dialogue. It's like...poetry.
Nick Douglas
Nov 12, 2013 Nick Douglas rated it really liked it
I haven't seen the movie yet. First I'll read the screenplay.
Tracy Morton
Sep 23, 2014 Tracy Morton rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
The play is just as good as the movie.
Jan 01, 2012 Nicholas rated it really liked it
So many typos. Samuel French fail.
Oct 09, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing
A great piece of stagecraft. Loved it.
Sep 04, 2007 tenderfoot added it
Shelves: plays
(the play - not the screenplay)
Apr 11, 2013 Katiegrahamk rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
Alystynae rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2016
Brigid Griffin
Brigid Griffin marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2016
Elysse marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2016
Meghan Fulton
Meghan Fulton rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2016
Shane rated it really liked it
Apr 17, 2016
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Plot 1 4 Apr 24, 2011 12:47AM  
  • Talk Radio (TCG Edition)
  • The Last Night of Ballyhoo
  • A Life in the Theatre
  • Same Time Next Year
  • The Zoo Story & The Sandbox
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • Little Shop of Horrors: Script and Lyrics
  • Home Alone
  • Take Me Out: A Play
  • Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All for You & The Actor's Nightmare
  • The Front Page
  • Lost in Yonkers
  • The King and I
  • Children of a Lesser God
  • 1776
  • Godspell
  • Incident at Vichy
  • Deathtrap
Aaron Benjamin Sorkin is an American screenwriter, producer and playwright, whose works include A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Sports Night and The Farnsworth Invention.

After graduating from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre in 1983, Sorkin spent much of the 1980s in New York as a struggling, largely unemployed actor. He found his pa
More about Aaron Sorkin...

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“We live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns.” 11 likes
“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.” 7 likes
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