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The Great Santini (1979)


An exceptional film, this odd combination of Top Gun and Ordinary People features Robert Duvall in one of his greatest performances (Oscar-nominated, too) as the difficult Marine family patriarch in the years leading up to the Vietnam War. This ain’t Major Dad, as Duvall’s ‘Great Santini’ drinks hard and pushes his kids to the limit. Or beyond. Some of it’s funny, some of its tragic, and with the exception of a misfired subplot about race relations, all of it’s stellar.