On This Day: ‘A Few Good Men’ Premiered in 1992

by Joe Rutland

With a star-studded cast led by Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, A Few Good Men hit the movie theaters on this day in 1992.

Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, and Kevin Pollak also were part of this military-themed drama. Toss in Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kiefer Sutherland, too, and you have one whale of a thriller.

Twitter account Retro News Now didn’t let its followers forget about this anniversary.

Let’s take a look at some of the history behind A Few Good Men.

The movie, which was directed by Rob Reiner, is based upon a 1989 play put together by Aaron Sorkin. And the plot focuses on military lawyer Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee, played by Cruise, defending Marines accused of murder. They contend they were acting under orders.

This is according to the movie’s IMDb listing.

Nicholson plays Col. Nathan Jessep, who finds himself locked up in a battle of wits between himself and Kaffee. The tension between both Cruise and himself is just incredible. Everything builds to them dueling with Jessep on the witness stand and Kaffee asking if Jessep called for “the code red.”

Moore played Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway, Pollak played Lt. Sam Weinberg, Bacon was Capt. Jack Ross, and Sutherland played 2nd Lt. Jonathan Kendrick.

The movie brought together a riveting cast, screenplay from Aaron Sorkin, and Reiner’s directing prowess.

‘A Few Good Men’ Actor Jack Nicholson Made Appearances on ‘The Andy Griffith Show’

Years before Jack Nicholson was spitting fire on the witness stand in A Few Good Men, he was an up-and-coming actor looking for bigger roles.

Would you believe “Jack” stopped off in Mayberry not once but twice? Oh, it is true, Outsiders.

Nicholson has two screen listings from The Andy Griffith Show to his credit.

In the late 1960s, he popped up on the CBS sitcom that starred Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor.

In 1966, Nicholson made his first appearance in Opie Finds a Baby, which aired in the sixth season of the show.

He portrayed “Mr. Garland,” a father of a child who is accidentally left behind at the Mayberry Courthouse after he loses his temper. For someone who has delivered such intense acting performances as Nicholson has, it’s only fitting he plays a hothead.

Opie and Arnold take it upon themselves to find a home for the child, which is, of course, returned to Garland and his wife at the end of the episode.

The next season, Nicholson didn’t reprise his role of Mr. Garland, but instead played a different man in the final season of The Andy Griffith Show. In “Aunt Bee, the Juror,” he is “Marvin Jenkins,” a man who is accused of stealing a TV.