Complete list of the films Guillermo del Toro has recommended on twitter. Click the 'Read notes' button to see his…
The Big Red One
Only chance could have thrown them together. Now, nothing can pull them apart.
A veteran sergeant of the World War I leads a squad in World War II, always in the company of the survivor Pvt. Griff, the writer Pvt. Zab, the Sicilian Pvt. Vinci and Pvt. Johnson in Vichy French Africa, Sicily, D-Day at Omaha Beach, Belgium and France, ending in a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia where they face the true horror of war.
I know there's someone out there that watches this and sees glory and excitement, but I can't imagine what they must be like. Almost every soldier I've ever spoken to has mentioned how unrealistic war movies are, but that hardly means the movies don't adequately convey some sense of horror and pain. They present effective characters and we empathize with them, and even if what is shown is both less terrifying than the real thing and more condensed, deeply edited, completely limited as compared to the real thing, even if that is the case, it is none-the-less a depiction of nothing I can fathom wanting to be a part of.
This film (and note that I watched the 2.75 hour…
Suddenly realised I haven't written anything about Sam Fuller on here yet, and this probably isn't the best one to start with. It makes a slight move from the giant collective pieces on war from early Fuller and juggles both very personal stories of war with larger perspectives showing the entire squadron. He's certainly concerned with showing each individual victory and act of heroism though they always exist in the moment and that feeling is always short-lived or surrounded with such horrifying bluntness as Marvin calling each number on D-Day and the corresponding man having to go to his death. It's hardly as relentless as, say, Steel Helmet or China Gate which both exist within a space…
Sometimes there are films that can genuinely be described as a huge influence on a host of others in their genre. Star Wars influenced almost every science fiction movie after 1977 and Samuel Fuller's The Big Red One's influence can be seen in everything from Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan to the Band Of Brothers tv series.
Starring Lee Marvin and a post Star Wars Mark Hamill, this follows a group of soldiers from the legendary 1st Infantry Division during WWII. It shows the platoon at various stages of the war and covers their exploits in North Africa, Sicily, the D-Day landings, Belgium and finally Czechoslovakia. We see the deaths of comrades, the horrors of war, the bond that grows between…
So The Empire Strikes Back wasn't the only great film to co-star Mark Hamill in 1980. Talk about confronting your dark side. Fuller is adept at details and ideas without being heavy handed or abstractly poetic. Therefore, I found this superior to both Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line. Lee Marvin is a master at the close-up reaction shot and totally believable as the commander who's fought to the bitter end of two world wars. David Ayer's recent Fury (which I liked) owes a great debt to this one. I watched the original cut, but greatly look forward to sitting down for the reconstructed version some day.
Loosely based on a series of horrific anecdotes personally lived by director Samuel Fuller, The Big Red One is the director's personal feature that finally made him earn his first Palme d'Or nomination. He was asked to recall his experiences while serving as an infantry soldier in the European Theatre of the Second World War. Under these terms, it is no ordinay war feature. The narrative is intentionally disjointed into an episodic structure, like fractured memoirs of an upset soul trying to put the pieces together about violent accounts in the middle of inhuman circumstances.
Several users have agreed, and I join them: the film is misunderstood. The film can be fairly credited…
It's just one of your balls, Smitty. You can live without it. That's why they gave you two.
It's either an Epic War Drama disguised as a World War II Adventure B-Movie, or a World War II Adventure B-Movie disguised as an Epic War Drama. I'm not sure which. It certainly is an Epic however, but a Samuel Fuller Epic. No forced messages or sentimentality, just a story about war.
It's not a romanticized version of the war either despite it's "War Adventure Tone". The Sergeant and the four lucky Privates that seem to be the only survivors from skirmish to skirmish come to a point where they don't seem to give a shit about anyone else in…
Theatrical Cut. Watered down, bland and uninspiring in pretty much every way. Hopefully the reconstructed version is better, but I don't see myself visiting that anytime soon.
when some guy is talking about freezing a fat woman's butt and you realize it's the best part of the movie
An absolute mess of a film. Tries to be deep and meaningful but ends up with the emotional impact of a dead fruit fly. Terrible directing and sloppy scenes painted in such vague strokes over some of history's most memorable events, left me feeling utterly void of any emotion towards the main characters whose names I can't even remember.
I guess the best analogy i could give this film, is that it's messier than delivering a baby in a Panzer tank with no hot water, whilst wearing condoms on your fingers and a cheese cloth around your face.
(Note: I watched the cut down 113min version)
The 156 minute reconstruction. Samuel Fuller's most obviously personal war film, it follows his autobiographical account of his time serving in the US infantry closely, engagement by engagement, filled with anecdotal detail that is often horrific, sometimes disconcertingly banal, and occasionally grimly funny or just plain strange. It all adds up to a vivid picture of warfare, all the more impactful for lacking unnecessarily grand dramatic histrionics or contrived heroism. As terse and economical in its dialogue and scene construction as Fuller's films tend to be, but played out on the expansive canvass of world war. The geographical and temporal scope of the film is vast, but each scene, and the bond the men form, is close and keenly felt.…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
If you only want to read one sentence and leave it at that, this is the greatest war movie.
This movie showed glorious battles without glorifying them, it showed horror without gratuity, it showed compassion for the enemy without a compromised resolve.
This movie is what happens when you put the camera into the hands of a veteran who wants to tell the whole story.
The film opens with Lee Marvin wandering the hellscape of WWI and killing a surrendering German only to find out the war had been over a couple of hours. It's sad, a tragic waste, but also ironic and darkly comedic. Lee Marvin wears the mixed feelings well.
The film cuts to an older more grizzled…
“This is fictional life based on factual death.”
Nach aufwendiger Restauration erstrahlt der der Film im Jahre 2003 in seinem vollen Glanz und wurde, soweit möglich, nach der ursprünglichen Vision Fullers geschnitten.
Man sollte The Big Red One sicherlich in seinen Ambitionen mit den großen Filmen seines Genres in eine Reihe stellen, auch wenn er sich auf den ersten Blick nicht unbedingt vollständig in die gängigen Interpretationsschema einordnen lässt. Es ist weder ein Anliegen Fullers gewesen eine romantisch verklärtes Bild des Krieges zu gestalten, wie dies mancher Vertreter der 50er und 60er Jahre getan hat, noch mit drastischen Bildern das Grauen des Krieges darzustellen. Der Film funktioniert auf einer anderen Ebene, die Charakterisierung ist leicht unterkühlt, ein wirklicher Spannungsaufbau entsteht…
A magnificent film. Samuel Fuller adds his voice to the countless others who have recorded WWII stories, yet manages to create a movie that's completely original in its vision.
The largely autobiographical story follows the Big Red One, the nickname for an infantry rifle squad, through many of the war's major battles. Unlike other war films, Fuller's movie resists the urge to reduce each man to an easily recognizable type, and instead creates living, breathing characters who we very much care about by the time the film is over. There are no philosophical pontifications about the absurdity of war, a la an Oliver Stone film or "Saving Private Ryan." These are kids being asked to fulfill a role for which…
GDT has recently joined twitter, and has started tweeting a series of films he describes as " A daily list…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…