- This article is about the film. For the play upon which it is based, see Biloxi Blues.
Biloxi Blues is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Neil Simon is based on his semi-autobiographical 1985 play of the same name.
The second chapter in what is known as Simon's Eugene Trilogy
(the first being Brighton Beach Memoirs
and the third being Broadway Bound
), the story centers around Eugene Morris Jerome, a 20-year-old Jewish Brooklynite
who enlists in the United States Army
during the last year of World War II
and is sent to Biloxi, Mississippi
for basic training. While there he learns to cope with fellow soldiers from all walks of life, falls in love, and loses his virginity in less than ideal circumstances, all while having to cope with an eccentric drill sergeant.
The film was shot on location in Fort Chaffee
, Fort Smith
and Van Buren, Arkansas
Period songs heard on the soundtrack include "How High the Moon" by Morgan Lewis and Nancy Hamilton, "Blue Moon" by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, "Marie" by Irving Berlin, "Solitude" by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, and Edgar DeLange, "Chattanooga Choo Choo" by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon, and "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree (with Anyone Else But Me)" by Sam H. Stept, Charles Tobias, and Lew Brown.
The film opened on 1,239 screens in the US and earned $7,093,325 on its opening weekend. It eventually grossed $43,184,798 in the US and $8,500,000 in foreign markets for a worldwide box office total of $51,684,798 .
of the Chicago Sun-Times
called the film "pale, shallow, unconvincing and predictable" and added, "nothing in this movie seems fresh, well-observed, deeply felt or even much thought about ... It's just a series of setups and camera moves and limp dialogue and stock characters who are dragged on to do their business."
Rita Kempley of the Washington Post thought the film was "an endearing adaptation" and "overall Nichols, Simon and especially Broderick find fresh threads in the old fatigues" despite some "fallow spells and sugary interludes."
Variety called it "an agreeable but hardly inspired film" and added, "Even with high-powered talents Mike Nichols and Matthew Broderick aboard, World War II barracks comedy provokes just mild laughs and smiles rather than the guffaws Simon's work often elicits in the theater."