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CBS/20th Century Fox

Darren McGavin
Earl Holliman
John Gruber
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TRIBES - 1970    page 1

SYNOPSIS:   Adrien (Jan) is recruited into the Marines and soon he finds some strange ways of coping with the stress of training and the rest of his team wants to know just what his secret is. But Sgt. Thomas Drake feels he must be stopped before he infects all of them with his theory and he is bent on making him into a Marine he wants him to be.


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** Thanks to JH for helping out with stills and ads. **

Once again Jan Michael Vincent is cast as a soldier - a recruit in this piece and he certainly has the physique for it, and had some experience of the military in real life to draw upon.
Adrian, a hippy who has learned through meditation techniques to endure all kinds of physical and mental pressures, is drafted into the military and turns up for basic training with very long blond hair and hippy clothes and open toe sandals, which doesn't impress or endear him to the Drill Instructor (Darren McGavin).
Pretty soon Adrian becomes the focus of attention, because he is so different, having never completed his formal education he still managed to get the highest scores on the written tests he had to take, and his inner calm irritate his DI and fellow recruits, until during a particularly brutal endurance test, holding out full buckets of sand until their arms feel like they are about to drop off, in the heat of a California day, Adrian manages to hold out longer than even the strongest recruit and is so focused that he does not hear the DI tell him he can put the buckets down. Later, while marching he appears to be smiling and again does not hear the DI give him an order. Back in the barracks, the other recruits want to know how he does it, how he becomes so focused that he no longer feels pain, or is aware of his surroundings, Adrian explains his meditation techniques and gradually, the rest of the recruits follow his techniques and begin to get through the basic training more easily.
The DI is not impressed and takes out his anger on the recruits, although, after Adrian tells him that he might be able to make him a solider physically, and to obey orders, he will never be able to change who he is inside . The person he is . And while the military expect him to conform, they do not try to understand his point of view . The DI begins to feel a little respect for Adrian's principles.
However, it pretty soon becomes clear that despite his physique and his attempts to conform to military life, Adrian cannot fire his gun, even at an inanimate target . He simply cannot bring himself to pull the trigger.
Jan Michael Vincent is excellent in this role putting in a fine performance in one of his first major leading roles.

Score out of 10 - 8.5



PAGE CREATED: 03/13/13   UPDATED: 11/01/14

Origin: RCV / Toronto since 2003