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A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men at Haymarket Theatre London.jpg
The cast of A Few Good Men at the Haymarket Theatre, London in 2005.
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Characters LTJG Daniel A. Kaffee
Capt. Julius A. Randolph
Pfc. Louden Downey
LCDR JoAnne Galloway
Capt. Isaac Whitaker
Lt. Jack Ross
Capt. Matthew A. Markinson
Lt. Col. Nathan R. Jessep
LCpl. Harold W. Dawson
1Lt Jonathan James Kendrick
(among others)
Place premiered Kennedy Center in Washington, DC
Original language English
Subject Military justice
Genre Courtroom drama
Setting Summer 1986
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
General court-martial in Washington, D.C.
IBDB profile

A Few Good Men is a play by Aaron Sorkin, first produced on Broadway by David Brown in 1989. Sorkin adapted his work into a screenplay for a 1992 film directed by Rob Reiner, produced by Brown and starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore.

It tells the story of military lawyers at a court-martial who uncover a high-level conspiracy in the course of defending their clients, United States Marines accused of murder.



Sorkin got the inspiration for the play from a phone conversation with his sister Deborah, who had graduated from Boston University Law School and signed up for a three-year stint with the Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps. She was going to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base to defend a group of Marines who came close to killing a fellow Marine in a hazing ordered by a superior officer. Sorkin took that information and wrote much of his story on cocktail napkins while bartending at the Palace Theatre on Broadway.[1]

In research, some details were also taken from the experience of novice trial lawyer Donald Marcari's first case.[2] The character of Lt. Daniel Kaffee was based on 3 of the military lawyers involved, Don Marcari, David Iglesias and Chris Johnson.[3]

Once Sorkin completed a draft, his theatrical agent sent it to producer David Brown who wanted the film rights. Sorkin sold Brown the rights, getting Brown to agree to also produce A Few Good Men as a play.[4]



A Few Good Men had its world premiere at the Heritage Repertory Theatre at the University of Virginia's Department of Drama on September 19, 1989. [5] It then transferred to the Kennedy Center.[4][6]

The original Broadway stage production opened at the Music Box Theatre in New York on November 15, 1989, in a production directed by Don Scardino, designed by Ben Edwards, and with music by John Gromada. It starred Tom Hulce as LTJG Kaffee, Megan Gallagher as LCDR JoAnne Galloway, Stephen Lang as Col Jessep, and Robert Hogan as Capt. Matthew A. Markinson. Replacement actors included Timothy Busfield and Bradley Whitford as Kaffee, Perry King, Michael O'Hare, and Ron Perlman as Jessep, and Pamela Blair as Galloway. Joshua Malina also appeared. It ran for 497 performances.

Other performances

A national touring company performed through 1992 with Michael O'Keefe as LTJG Kaffee, Alyson Reed as LCDR Galloway, and Paul Winfield as the judge.

In January 1993 A Few Good Men had its premiere in German language at the Volkstheater, Vienna, Austria (translation: Gunther Baumann, director: Erhard Pauer, Daniel Kaffee: Alfons Haider). In the following years this production went on tour and was shown all over Germany, Switzerland and Austria (German title: Eine Frage der Ehre/A Question Of Honor).

A revival of the play starring Rob Lowe in the role of LTJG Kaffee, Suranne Jones as LCDR Galloway and John Barrowman as Capt Ross, opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, in late August 2005 for preview showings followed by a three-month run in early September 2005. The stage show was directed by David Esbjornson.

Jensen Ackles appeared as LTJG Kaffee alongside Lou Diamond Phillips as Col Jessep in a production of the play at the Casa Mañana Theatre, in Fort Worth, Texas, June 5-10, 2007.

It has also been performed in London, Oxford and Portsmouth by amateur groups.

Awards and nominations

The Broadway production earned Megan Gallagher a 1990 Theatre World Award and a Best Actor nomination for Tom Hulce at the 44th Tony Awards.[7]


  1. ^ "A Few Good Men London theatre tickets and information". Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  2. ^ Theatre of Dare, North Carolina, "A Few Good Men - The Real Story", Accessed July 31, 2008
  3. ^ The Internet Movie Database, "A Few Good Men - Trivia", Accessed October 9, 2009
  4. ^ a b Three Days, 15 Seminars, One Great Experience by Valerie Weiss, from
  5. ^ The Internet Broadway Database [1]
  6. ^ A Moment of Decision At the Kennedy Center - New York Times
  7. ^ IBDB Production Awards

External links


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