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Full Metal Jacket (26-Jun-1987)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Writers: Stanley Kubrick; Michael Herr; Gustav Hasford

From novel: The Short Timers by Gustav Hasford

Original Music by: Abigail Mead

Producer: Stanley Kubrick

Keywords: Action/Adventure, Vietnam War, Boot Camp, Infantry, Sniper

Act 1: Marine conscripts attend Parris Island boot camp led by a sadistic drill instructor, Sgt. Hartman; some never make it. Act 2: We follow one of their number, "Joker", now a war reporter, as he covers some of his friends from basic training. Act 3: A Marine patrol in Hue falls under fire of a Viet Cong sniper. Among the greatest war films ever produced; received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Philip Bailey
8-May-1951   Lead, Earth, Wind & Fire
Adam Baldwin
27-Feb-1962   Animal Mother in Full Metal Jacket
Vincent D'Onofrio
30-Jun-1959   Law & Order: Criminal Intent
R. Lee Ermey
24-Mar-1944   Drill Instructor from Full Metal Jacket
Dorian Harewood
6-Aug-1950   Full Metal Jacket
Arliss Howard
18-Oct-1954   Plain Clothes
Matthew Modine
22-Mar-1959   Joker in Full Metal Jacket
John Terry
5-May-1944   Dr. Christian Shephard on Lost


Matthew Modine   ...   Pvt. Joker
Adam Baldwin   ...   Animal Mother
Vincent D'Onofrio   ...   Pvt. Pyle
R. Lee Ermey   ...   Gny. Sgt. Hartman
Dorian Harewood   ...   Eightball
Arliss Howard   ...   Pvt. Cowboy
Kevyn Major Howard   ...   Rafterman
Ed O'Ross   ...   Lt. Touchdown
John Terry   ...   Lt. Lockhart
Kieron Jecchinis   ...   Crazy Earl
Bruce Boa   ...   Poge Colonel
Kirk Taylor   ...   Payback
John Stafford   ...   Doc Jay
Tim Colceri   ...   Doorgunner
Ian Tyler   ...   Lt. Cleves
Gary Landon Mills   ...   Donlon
Sal Lopez   ...   T.H.E. Rock
Papillon Soo Soo   ...   Da Nang Hooker
Ngoc Le   ...   V.C. Sniper
Peter Edmund   ...   Snowball
Tan Hung Francione   ...   ARVN Pimp
Leanne Hong   ...   Motorbike Hooker
Marcus D'Amico   ...   Hand Job
Costas Dino Chimona   ...   Chili
Gil Kopel   ...   Stork
Keith Hodiak   ...   Daddy DA
Peter Merrill   ...   TV Journalist
Herbert Norville   ...   Daytona Dave
Nguyen Hue Phong   ...   Camera Thief
Duc Hu Ta   ...   Dead N.V.A.
Parris Island Recruit and Vietnam Platoon
Martin Adams   ...   Soldier
Kevin Aldridge   ...   Soldier
Del Anderson   ...   Soldier
Philip Bailey   ...   Soldier
Louis Barlotti   ...   Soldier
John Beddows   ...   Soldier
Patrick Benn   ...   Soldier
Steve Boucher   ...   Soldier
Adrian Bush   ...   Soldier
Tony Carey   ...   Soldier
Gary Cheeseman   ...   Soldier
Wayne Clark   ...   Soldier
Chris Cornibert   ...   Soldier
Danny Cornibert   ...   Soldier
John Curtis   ...   Soldier
John Davis   ...   Soldier
Harry Davies   ...   Soldier
Kevin Day   ...   Soldier
Gordon Duncan   ...   Soldier
Phil Elmer   ...   Soldier
Colin Elvis   ...   Soldier
Hadrian Follett   ...   Soldier
Sean Frank   ...   Soldier
David George   ...   Soldier
Laurie Gomes   ...   Soldier
Brian Goodwin   ...   Soldier
Nigel Goulding   ...   Soldier
Tony Hague   ...   Soldier
Steve Hands   ...   Soldier
Chris Harris   ...   Soldier
Bob Hart   ...   Soldier
Derek Hart   ...   Soldier
Barry Hayes   ...   Soldier
Tony Hayes   ...   Soldier
Robin Hedgeland   ...   Soldier
Duncan Henry   ...   Soldier
Kenneth Head   ...   Soldier
Liam Hogan   ...   Soldier
Trevor Hogan   ...   Soldier
Luke Hogdal   ...   Soldier
Steve Hudson   ...   Soldier
Tony Howard   ...   Soldier
Sean Lamming   ...   Soldier
Dan Landin   ...   Soldier
Tony Leete   ...   Soldier
Nigel Lough   ...   Soldier
Terry Lowe   ...   Soldier
Frank McCardle   ...   Soldier
Gary Meyer   ...   Soldier
Brett Middleton   ...   Soldier
David Milner   ...   Soldier
Sean Minmagh   ...   Soldier
Tony Minmagh   ...   Soldier
John Morrison   ...   Soldier
Russell Mott   ...   Soldier
John Ness   ...   Soldier
Robert Nichols   ...   Soldier
David Perry   ...   Soldier
Peter Rommely   ...   Soldier
Pat Sands   ...   Soldier
Jim Sarup   ...   Soldier
Chris Schmidt-Maybach   ...   Soldier
Al Simpson   ...   Soldier
Russell Slater   ...   Soldier
Gary Smith   ...   Soldier
Roger Smith   ...   Soldier
Tony Smith   ...   Soldier
Anthony Styliano   ...   Soldier
Bill Thompson   ...   Soldier
Mike Turjansky   ...   Soldier
Dan Weldon   ...   Soldier
Dennis Wells   ...   Soldier
Michael Williams   ...   Soldier
John Wilson   ...   Soldier
John Wonderling   ...   Soldier


Review by anonymous (posted on 15-Apr-2005)

This motion picture is really in two parts; The first part being the arrival of new recruits and how they fare the Boot Camp ordeal. Our Drill Sgt. Aptly played by R.Lee Ermy, actually was a Marine D.I., and when discharged from the Corps went into acting, and this was the result... He harasses all the recruits, especially one called "Gomer Pyle"...Ermy picks on Pyle hard, and so does the recruit company, until they graduate from Boot Camp, and are assigned to various Divisions in Viet Nam.. Pyle goes off the deep end, and shoots Ermy in the chest with his rifle, then puts the gun nozzle in his own mouth and pulls the trigger... The second part of the movie takes place in Viet Nam, sometime after Boot Camp. Then we follow the "Joker" and "Rafter Man" who are now reporters and photographers from Stars and Strips magazine. Action begets action, and they are held down by a sniper hiding in a burned out building... One of the soldiers is shot and mortally wounded, and another goes to his aid, where he is promptly shot and killed by the sniper. They attack the building with the sniper, and Joker draws down on the sniper after he manages to creep into the room. Lo and behold! The sniper is a female VC. She is shot by one of the troops, and is laying in her own blood, apparently dying.. Joker is the one who shoots her in the head to kill her.... The comments made by other members of the Squad were, " Hard Core, man, Hard Core!" After the area is cleared, the Battalion marches towards the Perfume River, singing the Mickey Mouse song... I liked the movie and have seen it many times. There are several side bars to this movie, and you have to see the movie to find out what they are....

Review by Walter Frith (posted on 7-Jun-2007)

When director Stanley Kubrick died in March of 1999, he had just completed a screening of his last film, 'Eyes Wide Shut' earlier in the week and you could see by the time the film was released later in the year, in July to be exact, that some in the movie industry felt that Kubrick's obsessive nature had gotten the best of him. There simply was no reason, some said, for this film to be in production for as long as it was. From November of 1996 until January of 1998, 14 months in all, this film was shot and production didn't end until June of 1998 and then the picture wasn't released until a full 13 months after that while Kubrick tinkered with the final cut. Through all of his film making life, I truly admired Kubrick's work. Coming from a background that included being a still picture photographer, this came through in his motion picture making. Long tracking shots without any editing. Keeping the lens still with long stretches between editing and that curious shot from the floor, looking up at his subjects, parloured some of his best work and were some of Kubrick's trademarks. Camera tricks of every kind from slow motion to fast whirlwinds of movement to impressive lighting, two of Kubrick's visual essays on the world, '1960's 'Spartacus' and 1975's 'Barry Lyndon', won Oscars for their camera work. Kubrick could probably translate directly from his brain, his message of dehumanization to the screen better than any other director. Kubrick himself would never win an Oscar for any of his academic achievements but his lone Oscar came for the visual effects of 1968's '2001: A Space Odyssey'. When the American Film Institute selected the top 100 movies of all time (1896-1996) in 1998, three Kubrick films, '2001: A Space Odyssey', 'Dr. Strangelove' and 'A Clockwork Orange' made the final list. Curiously, in the opinion of many historians and critics, Kubrick seemed to peak with 'A Clockwork Orange'. He only made three other films between 1971 and 1996 and 'Barry Lyndon' (1975), 'The Shining' (1980) and 'Full Metal Jacket' (1987) did not make the list of the final 400 nominees. Based on the novel 'The Short Timers' by Gustav Hasford, and adapted for the big screen by Hasford, Michael Herr and Kubrick, 'Full Metal Jacket' is a war film unlike any other and you have to give Kubrick credit for that. It is, primarily in the second act, probably the most intellectual look at war that has ever been shown on the big screen. It is seen through the eyes of private Joker (Matthew Modine), a U.S. Marine who overcame the obstacles of his basic military training and went to Vietnam as a journalist and a fighting machine. Kubrick layers the film with profanity rarely seen in any other film in the film's opening scene as a callous drill sergeant named Hartman, (R. Lee Ermey), grills his men to see what they are made of. There are the usual holes in the platoon. The wise cracker, the aloof, and the incompetent are all present but soon are molded and shaped into Marines who in the words of Hartman "are not allowed to die without permission". He also observes that "the deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle". The basic training sequences in the first 45 minutes of 'Full Metal Jacket' are like watching a documentary on springs. Kubrick photographs everything in his usual surefooted style, using impressive lighting, close-ups of extreme facial expressions and sounds stretched through the fabric of the best effects devices ever created. The film's most tragic story is not the deaths in Vietnam because there is always the risk of that in war and we know what to expect. What is not expected but does happen, is the slow mental erosion of private Pyle (Vincent D'Onofrio) at the hands of Hartman and the platoon in the film's first act. Private Pyle is overweight, out of sync with what it means to be a Marine and simply doesn't have the physical capacity to graduate with full military acceptance. Joker takes him under his wing and helps Pyle to graduate only to watch a tragedy unfold at the hands of private Pyle, who goes insane. His swan song scene is one of the most powerful images in Kubrick's career as a director and if I had not seen the credits, I could have guessed that Kubrick directed the scene. In the film's second act, the fighting men in Vietnam move from one situation to another, just like in any other war film but the total disorganization of the Vietnam war is perhaps more authentic here than in most films like it because the film takes a very long time to build up scenes of combat that do not occur until well after we see their basic introduction to a foreign land. The way the men treat each other, the dissent, the disregard for authority and the stupidity of commanding officers all contribute to an almost iconoclastic view of the war and how it was fought. Kubrick is not able to match the powerful antics of the first act and translate that vision to the rest of the film by the time the third act unfolds in 'Full Metal Jacket' which is the smoking out of an assassin. The audience is shown a view of Vietnam from a film that was shot entirely in England. Palm trees were temporarily planted, authentic military and Asian settings were put into place by the production design crew and the film was told with less visceral style than many films about Vietnam that came before it and while 'Full Metal Jacket' shows America in a rare military loss, what better material to draw your inspiration from if you are the master of dehumanization as Kubrick was. [Visit Film Follow-Up by Walter Frith.]

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