Archive - December 14, 2011

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Volunteers — The Movie. The Subplots. The RPCV.

Volunteers — The Movie. The Subplots. The RPCV.

In James Jouppi’s (Thailand 1971–73) long, rambling and detailed memoir — Wars of Hearts And Minds — about his time in-country in Thailand and readjusting to the U.S. — there are a seven pages, 565 to 572, that focus on the cult (to some people) movie, Volunteers released in 1985. For those who missed Volunteers this is briefly the plot: Lawrence Bourne III, played by young Tom Hanks, is a spoiled rich kid in the 1960 with a large gambling debt. After his father, Lawrence Bourne Jr. (George Plimpton), refuses to pay his son’s debt, Lawrence escapes his angry debtors by trading places with his college roommate Kent (Xander Berkeley) and jumps on a Peace Corps flight to Southeast Asia. In the Peace Corps Lawrence is assigned to build a bridge for the local villagers, working with two other PCVs: Washington State University graduate Tom Tuttle (John Candy) and the beautiful, down-to earth . . .

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