7.9/10
12,379
80 user 61 critic

Johnny Got His Gun (1971)

R | | Drama, War | 1 March 1972 (France)
A World War I soldier, rendered blind, deaf, limbless, and mute by a horrific artillery shell attack, finds a unique way of communicating with his doctors.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Kareen
...
Joe's Mother
...
Joe's Father
...
...
Mike Burkeman
Sandy Brown Wyeth ...
Lucky
...
Jody Simmons (as Donald Barry)
...
Ancient Prelate
Kendell Clarke ...
Hospital Offical
...
Corporal Timlon
...
Col. / Gen. Tillery
Craig Bovia ...
Little Guy
Judy Howard Chaikin ...
Bakery Girl
...
Orator (as Robert Cole)
Edit

Storyline

Joe, a young American soldier, is hit by a mortar shell on the last day of World War I. He lies in a hospital bed in a fate worse than death - a quadruple amputee who has lost his arms, legs, eyes, ears, mouth and nose. He remains conscious and able to think, thereby reliving his life through strange dreams and memories, unable to distinguish whether he is awake or dreaming. He remains frustrated by his situation, until one day when Joe discovers a unique way to communicate with his caregivers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

eyes | dream | memory | soldier | hospital | See All (229) »

Taglines:

Made love - he did. Make war - he did. Make it - he didn't. Johnny got his gun. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 March 1972 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Glen Glenn Sound)

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was a minor success when it was originally released. It became a well-known cult film in 1989 when it was included in the Metallica video "One" (1989). Eventually, the band bought the rights to the film so they could keep showing their music video without having to pay royalties. See more »

Quotes

Third Doctor: It's Morse Code.
Corporal Timlon: For What?
Third Doctor: S.O.S. Help.
See more »

Crazy Credits

War Dead Since 1914: Over 80,000,000 Missing or Mutilated: Over 150,000,000 "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Field Poppy (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Keep the Home Fires Burning
(uncredited)
Music by Ivor Novello
Lyrics by Lena Guilbert Ford
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Bleak film about a soldier really wounded with effective fantasy sequences in a series of flashbacks
28 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

This wrenching tale about a basket case in which a young American soldier named Johnny -Timothy Bottoms - is hit by a bomb on the last days of the WWI . The story takes place in the mind of a quadruple amputee who has also lost his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. As the deaf and dumb Joe is limbless , faceless and confined to a semi-existence and he attempts to communicate with the staff -Edward Franz- and caretakers . Regaining consciousness, 20 and some year-old Joe Bonham slowly learns that while his brain is healthy and able to reason, the rest of his body is irreparably shattered, leaving him forever tied within the confines of his own imagination. Regarded as a vegetable and stuck in a light-less hospital utility room , he fantasizes and dreams about life before and after the artillery shell . He struggles valiantly to find some way to communicate with the outside world . Tapping his head on the pillow in Morse code he breaks through and pleads with his nurse -Diane Varsi- to be put on display as a living example of the cost of war.

The black-listed Trumbo adapted his own novel, seemingly unfilmable , incredibly based on real events , approximately thirty years after he wrote it and shot at the climax of the Vietnam era . The picture is often sentimental, sometimes thought-provoking as well as terrifying . It is developed through a sustained interior monologue on a series of flashbacks to Johnny's infancy , his first and only night with his love interest -performed by Kathy Fields- , before leaving for the front , his employment in the local bakery and his relationship to his father- Jason Robards- and Christ well played by Donad Sutherland , including some breathtaking images in a train. The flick terminates captioning the following : ¨ War dead since 1914 : over 80.000.000 , missing or mutilated : over 150.000.000¨ . ¨ Dulce et decorum est pro Patria Mori ¨. The movie deservedly won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes 71 . This morbid anti-war and pro-euthanasia diatribe is very good film though a little bit boring , talky and depressing. It's recently remade (2008) in a special version by Rowan Joseph with Ben MacKenzie as Johnny .


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?