All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
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…
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…
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.
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, Massachusetts
In World War I, Private Possum (Lee Marvin) kills a German solider and returns to headquarters, where he's told the war ended "about four hours ago."
Since the war was over, was it murder when he killed the German? Are the signatures of distant leaders on a piece of paper the only distinction between murder and justifiably killing someone as an act of war? Are the actions themselves morally different because of when they took place?
Twenty four years later, Sgt. Possum leads the Big Red One during World War II. When his squad crosses the field where he killed the German years earlier, they find a memorial.
Johnson: Would you look at how fast they put up the names…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Lee Marvin is a Hollywood legend who I recognise, but I’m not sure if I could name a single one of his movies off the top of my head (and it turns out I’ve even written about one here). l know what he looked like, I know the general persona he brought to a role and I know he’s pretty awesome. So why haven’t I seen more of his movies? And if I was gonna make concerted effort to see more of his work, shouldn’t I go back the 50s or 60s? I probably shouldn’t go to the 80s, one of the worst decades in movie making history. Yet, that’s exactly what I did when I watched The Big Red…
I'm not getting all the praise for this one here, as it really was nothing special.
Marvin is a solid lead and it was great seeing Hammill I. something other then Star Wars.
That said, it was just so hokey. The theme music almost lead me to think it may have been more a farce. The fact that EVERYONE but the five leads dies and they keep talking about how they never die came off as unrealistic and just outright stupid.
The humor was pure cheese too. A man asking the five if he will die soon, instantly.hits a mine, only to somehow have one ball blown off? I mean really?
The war sequences have been done so much better in other films as well.
Caradine was a horrible choice for a voice over as well.
Released July 18, 1980.
Roger Ebert called this movie an "epic B-Movie," distinguishing it by stating that "A-Movies are about war, but B-Movies are about the soldiers."
He's right, at least in terms of "The Big Red One" being about the soldiers. There have been great war movies made about a colorful crew of soldiers backdropped by actual events of a given war. I'm thinking of "Saving Private Ryan," "The Pacific," "Band of Brothers," or even "Inglorious Basterds." Its a sure-fire way of getting the audience to identify- cast your movie with sympathetic faces, throw them into the meat grinder, and presto! Great War Movie!
The problem with "The Big Red One" is that the crew we become acquainted with…
It is so surprising to see a war movie laced with so much humor.The D Day set piece is one of the most memorable I have seen in my life.Lee Marvin leads a marvelous bunch of actors. Another aspect i loved was that Samuel Fuller shoots the whole movie episodically. I saw the 156 minute version and it was totally worth it.One of the greatest war movies in cinema.period.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I saw the theatrical version about 5 years ago and found it mostly forgettable. But I just now watched the Reconstruction, and it is a great movie through and through. I wish Sam Fuller could have lived to see it.
I remembered a handful of things from my viewing of the theatrical cut, such as Mark Hamill shooting repeatedly at a German corpse, Robert Carradine fantasizing about frozen butts, Bobby Di Cicco singing "O Sol Mio" with his gun in some dude's mouth, the accidental shooting of the French allies (and the subsequent embrace of them), the chaos and hopelessness of the D-Day sequence, and the opening scene set during World War I.
But to see the entire finished version,…
Leave it to Sam Fuller to present war in all its glory, absurdity and brutality. After all, he's one of the few filmmakers who's been there. The film follows the path of an infantry division, led by a sergeant (Lee Marvin) who participated in the First World War. The squad battles its way through African to Italy and then to Omaha beach, whose depiction is nearly as visceral as that of D-Day in Saving Private Ryan. This is a Fuller film, so there's also humor, crude humor and all sorts of messy, chaotic occurrences. But that's part of what makes the film so great, one of his very best.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the…