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The Big Shave (1968)

In the process of shaving, a young man cuts himself. A lot.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Peter Bernuth ...
Young Man
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Storyline

This short film is a metaphor for the Vietnam War. A man walks into a meticulously clean and sterile bathroom, concentrating on the polished porcelain and shiny metal motif. He then proceeds to shave. When his face is clean, however, he only continues to shave until he pierces through his skin. Blood covers him and falls around him, the red contrasting the perfect spotlessness of the bathroom. Written by Joseph D. Guernsey

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Genres:

Short | Drama | Horror

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Release Date:

October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big Shave... or, Viet '67  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scorsese thought of it as a film about the effects of the Vietnam war and considered it at one point ending it with stock footage from that war. See more »

Crazy Credits

Whiteness - Herman Melville See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Dad!: The Best Christmas Story Never (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Scorsese's bloodiest film
26 September 2005 | by (Greensboro, NC) – See all my reviews

The ritual of shaving and it's risks is explored by a young Scorsese. Surely every man has felt the fear/temptation of cutting one's self with a razor. A typical outlet for his self-loathing Catholic guilt, the gore is contrapuntally balanced by incongruous music on the soundtrack. Bunny Berigan's "I Can't Get Started" recalls the blackly comic ending to "Dr. Strangelove" with "We'll Meet Again" accompanying images of nuclear holocaust. Strangely, the young man in the feature is not in need of a shave in the slightest. And he shaves a second time in a row, the second time with bloody consequences. As other reviewers have posted, there may be some symbolic significance to this short film. Knowing Scorsese, it undoubtedly operates on many levels. It is to his credit as a filmmaker that he is able to make a solitary, mundane task so attention-grabbing.


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