84 From ’84: Tank

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Sergeant Major Zack arrives at a new army base with his wife, son and Sherman tank. One night at a bar he “stops” a pimp/deputy from beating a girl. The corrupt sheriff uses Zack’s son for revenge and Zack uses his tank.


  • James Garner as Command Sergeant Major Zack Carey
  • Shirley Jones as LaDonna Carey
  • C. Thomas Howell as William “Billy” Carey
  • Mark Herrier as Staff Sergeant Jerry Elliott, Soldier Magazine Reporter
  • Sandy Ward as Major General V.E. Hubik
  • Jenilee Harrison as Sarah
  • James Cromwell as Deputy Euclid Baker

1984 memories

I loved this movie when it came out. The tank was awesome, the chase was exciting and the air of adventure throughout the movie was captivating.

The final scene, when the tank is stuck in the mud and the biker jumps his motorcycle over the mud pit to attach a cable to the tank was great. Will they make it across the state line or will the corrupt sheriff win?

I liked everything about this movie and I hope it’s as good as I remember.

Let’s find out

40th Anniversary Re-watch

I still love this movie.

Sargent Major Carey is getting ready to retire from the army, one night while at a bar he beats down an abusive customer. Turns out the customer is an off duty sheriff deputy, Baker. The sheriff isn’t happy and he tells Carey he’ll forget the whole thing if Carey pays him off.

Oh yeah, the sheriff is as corrupt as they get, actually the whole town is full of corruption and crime, all run by the sheriff. Carey declines the offer so the sheriff goes after his son, Billy. Baker plants drugs in Billy’s locker and arrests him. The trial is quick and rigged and Billy is sentenced to years of hard labor.

Carey isn’t going to accept the sentence. He retires from the army grabs his World War II era Sherman tank and breaks Billy out of jail. They are joined by the girl from the bar, Jenilee and they head to the Tennessee state line to get a fair trial and expose the corrupt sheriff.

The drive to the state line is full of stunts, demolitions and explosions, as you might expect in a tank chase movie.

Tank Cast

I thought James garner did a good job as command Sargent Major Carey. My stepdad was a Command Sargent Major in the army; he wasn’t like Garner’s character. He was more like Sargent Major Plumley in We Were Soldiers.

My stepdad wouldn’t put up with that either. I don’t know if he would have retired first but he certainly would’ve dealt with that sheriff. He wasn’t a guy to be crossed.

This is C. Thomas Howell’s second starring role. His first was as Ponyboy in The Outsiders (1983). A fantastic movie. I thought Howell did a great job in Tank too. Howell would star in some of my favorite movies in the 80s and 90s. And Tank is one of them. Did you know Howell has been in over 220 movies? He’s had a prolific career.

Favorite Line:

Did you just call me a pussy communist?

The drive to Tennessee was exciting and the locals all started backing Carey and his journey. It was a Robin Hood type story and fun to see the locals back him. The end scene in the mud pit is still fun to watch.

Shirley Jones is good as Carey’s wife and James Cromwell is good as the deputy. All the supporting cast is good in this movie.

This is one of those feel good movies from the 80s. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, action packed 80a movie.

Tank was released on 16 March 1984. It brought in over $11 million dollars on a $6 million budget.

Did you watch Tank? If so let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on X(Twitter). The main Geekster channel is @TRNSocial and I’m @MileHighSamurai You can also find me on Bluesky @MileHighSamurai

7/10 stars

Check out the entire 84 From ’84 movie series

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About Pitfall Gary 156 Articles
Just your average Gen X'er. Born in the 70s and raised in the Decade of Decadence! I rode my bike without a helmet and was home when the street lights came on. I love to reminisce about the good ol' days; Movies, TV, music, if it happened in my childhood I'll share it with you.

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