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|“||He was right. If it had gone public, it would have permanently damaged women in the military. It would've destroyed West Point. It was an untenable situation.||„|
|~ Joseph Campbell|
Joseph Campbell is the main antagonist in the 1999 live action film The General's Daughter.
He was portrayed by James Cromwell, who also played The Colonel in DreamWorks' Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Warden Hazen in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard, Dr. Arthur Arden in American Horror Story: Asylum, Captain Dudley Liam Smith in L.A. Confidential, William Donahue in Eraser, and Professor Robert Callaghan in Disney's Big Hero 6.
He was a Lieutenant General who was retiring from the army and becomes a running mate as Vice President for the presidential candidate. It is soon revealed he is responsible for his daufhters downward spiral and eventual death; athough William Kent killed her, it was Campbell who let Elizabeth die in the hands of Kent. Elisabeth Campbell was the perfect daughter, she was highly intelligent, super athlete and a hard worker. She was valedictorian in high school, she was top of her class in West Point. After she graduated, she worked her way up to Captain in Psychological Operations. Elizabeth was gang raped in one of the training exercises, during her sophmore year at West Point. The rapists couldn't be identified at the time. Campbell initially wanted to look for them, but instead covers up the crime with the head of West Point, claiming would ruin any chances of any woman who enter West Point, as well as the school's reputation; in actuality it was for a promotion Campbell would get. Campbell visited Elizabeth in the hospital and ordered her to her forget about this incident.
Elisabeth held a huge grudge against her father for years, and grew promiscous, having sex with many men at the army base. This was her way of getting back at her father. Eventually Elisabeth reenacts the cover up at West Point, calling him to personally witness it. She wanted him to admit what happened and apologize for not doing anything, he told her no and left her to her fate, and eventual murder.
First Sergeant / CW4 Paul Brenner, U.S. Army CID and CW2 Sarah Sunhill, U.S. Army CID are investigating Elisabeth's murder and figure out what happened. They found the group who gang raped Elisabeth in West Point, and in turn have them arrested. It's revealed after Campbell left Elizabeth, Colonel William Kent was there when Elisabeth died and she was going to reveal the truth about her father's cover up and tell his wife and kids about their affair, leading him to jil her. Additionally he killed Colonel Moore in an attempt to get away with it which the general allowed through his policy of maintaining the cover up of Elisabeth´s gang rape even after her murder. Brenner and Sunhill figure out that Kent was the killer, Kent killed himself and Elisabeth had justice.
After the murder case was over, Brenner brings up the charges against Campbell for the cover up and his betrayal. Campbell was court martialed and kicked out of the army and lost his political ambition, leaving his public and military reputation ruined, at the risk of Brenner's own career. During their last encounter, Breener holds Campbell responsible for Elizabeth's murder, and cites the answer to a question he was asked earlier; "What is worse than rape ? Betrayal" as it was Campbell's betrayal that ultimately destroyed Elizabeth.