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Renaissance Man

One Man's Mission To Teach The Few, The Proud... The Impossible! 

Year: 1994 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Following in the footsteps of "Dead Poets Society", comes this variation on a theme, swapping the stuffy tradition of a boarding school for an Army recruitment camp.

Danny De Vito is advertising exec Bill Rago who loses his job and is unwillingly assigned to a six week teaching stint at McClane US Army Training Camp. His task is to educate eight would be soldiers who are in serious danger of rejection due to their inability to read or write. Basing his lessons on "Hamlet", Bill soon earns the respect of his band of misfits but all is not rosy as Bill runs into strife with his superiors and has to complete an army obstacle course (no small accomplishment given De Vito's less than muscular frame!).

Director Penny Marshall knows all about underdogs winning through, one of her previous films was the hit baseball comedy A League of their own. Renaissance Man is similar in theme with the search for identity coming across particularly strongly. De Vito acquits himself well in a role that is quite a diversion from his usual small guy schtick. He is likeably supported by a cast consisting largely of unknowns and Gregory Hines makes a suitably sleazy villain. The idealised portrayal of Army life may be slightly difficult to swallow but Renaissance Man is not intended to be a documentary. It is a genuinely warm hearted film and anyone looking for a feel good comedy that doesn't dtar Tom Hanks should check it out!

Caroline Smith.

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Screenings of this film:

1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)