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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 title.

Plot synopsis

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 Brooklynitemarker who is drafted into the United States Army during the last year of World War II and is sent to Biloxi, Mississippimarker 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 instructer.

Production notes

The film was shot on location in Fort Chaffee, Fort Smithmarker and Van Buren, Arkansasmarker.

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.


Critical reception

Vincent Canby of the New York Times called the film "a very classy movie, directed and toned up by Mike Nichols so there's not an ounce of fat in it." He added, "Mr. Nichols keeps the comedy small, precise and spare. Further, the humor is never flattened by the complex logistics of movie making, nor inflated to justify them."

Roger Ebert 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."

Box office

The film opened on 1,239 screens in the US and earned $7,093,325 on its opening weekend, ranking #1 at the box office. It eventually grossed $43,184,798 in the US and $8,500,000 in foreign markets for a total worldwide box office of $51,684,798 .

DVD release

The Region 1 DVD was released on January 27, 2004. It is in anamorphic widescreen format with English, French, and Spanish audio tracks in Dolby Digital Surround. The only bonus feature is the original theatrical trailer.


  1. New York Times review
  2. Chicago Sun-Times review
  3. Washington Post review
  4. Variety review

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