The Big Shave (1968)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 3,909 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 8 critic

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



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Credited cast:
Peter Bernuth ...
Young Man


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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Short | Drama | Horror

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

October 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big Shave... or, Viet '67  »

Filming Locations:

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Whiteness - Herman Melville See more »


Remade as The Big Shave (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

The Scorsese in the making from the very first
18 October 2004 | by (Tehran,Iran) – See all my reviews

This is six minutes of introduction to the world of Martin Scorsese. You may anticipate a story but it is only portrait of an obsessive shaver who shaves until he makes a bloodbath out of his face. A gruesome sight to average spectator ,and in one shot even to a more sophisticated one when the man pulls the blade from one end of his neck to another and acts very convincingly, this short film is an unblinking portrait of violence and especially personal violence for that matter, with a strong streak of masochism familiar to the fans of Scorsese. A man shaves or punishes himself for no apparent reason but cleansing(his face or his soul?). Also you can see the making of a director infatuated with the montage who will use its techniques for years to come.

The Big Shave also displays an effective use of two colors in jarring contrast for an aesthetic purpose: white of the bathroom and red of the blood. White and Red devour the character and the viewer and signal the world of a director in love with radical shifts and juxtapositions. overall a student film from Scorsese in retrospect is a lesson in film history. Experiment is the prerequisite of perfection. The jazz song which accompanies the whole film and unites its images has been wonderfully used.

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