Johnny Got His Gun (1971)

R  |   |  Drama, War  |  1 March 1972 (France)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 11,146 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 60 critic

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, ... See full summary »



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



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


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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


The most shattering experience you'll ever live.


Drama | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 March 1972 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Only a minor success at the time of its release, this long-forgotten film became well known in 1989 when it was incorporated in the Metallica video "One" (1989), which turned it into a cult item. Eventually, the members of Metallica bought the rights to the film in order to keep showing their music video without routinely paying royalties fees. See more »


Christ: No arms?
Joe: I havn't got anything. I'm just like a piece of meat that keeps on living.
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 »


Referenced in Aída: Jonnhy cogió su violín (2005) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Mind blowing and original
30 April 1999 | by (San Francisco, CA) – See all my reviews

One of cinema's greatest achievements. The film is an incredible experience. The fact that you spend almost two hours watching the figure of someone buried under sheets and that we are intrigued by every second of it, testifies to the genius of the film. It's sad that most people remember this movie as the one Metallica made a video for. No offense to the band, but this JGHG is far more important than that. Dalton Trumbo's only directorial effort and it is flawless. The majority of the film is told in a voiceover and like "Twelve Angry Men" every thing takes place in one room. Prepare to be amazed.

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Am I The Only One Who Didn't Like This? bigturdyum
the most powerful, deeply disturbing cry against war dario_van_kuschn
Whats so disturbing about this?? prawncrackyourballs
What has Johnny got? RodMorgan
This Metallica fan is haunted by this movie! gennymk
Has anyone read the book? matthew17
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