IMDb > Johnny Got His Gun (1971)
Johnny Got His Gun
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Johnny Got His Gun (1971) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 7 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Johnny Got His Gun -- After a shell leaves his body mangled on the final day of World War I, young Joe Bonham lies trapped in a hospital bed.
Johnny Got His Gun -- Trailer for Johnny Got His Gun


User Rating:
7.9/10   10,925 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 19% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Dalton Trumbo (novel)
Dalton Trumbo (screenplay)
View company contact information for Johnny Got His Gun on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 March 1972 (France) See more »
The most shattering experience you'll ever live.
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of the finest uses of motion picture film I have ever seen. See more (78 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Timothy Bottoms ... Joe Bonham

Kathy Fields ... Kareen

Marsha Hunt ... Joe's Mother

Jason Robards ... Joe's Father

Donald Sutherland ... Christ

Charles McGraw ... Mike Burkeman
Sandy Brown Wyeth ... Lucky

Don 'Red' Barry ... Jody Simmons (as Donald Barry)
Peter Brocco ... Ancient Prelate
Kendell Clarke ... Hospital Offical

Eric Christmas ... Corporal Timlon

Eduard Franz ... Col. / Gen. Tillery
Craig Bovia ... Little Guy
Judy Howard Chaikin ... Bakery Girl

Dalton Trumbo ... Orator (as Robert Cole)
Maurice Dallimore ... British Colonel

Robert Easton ... Third Doctor
Larry Fleischman ... Russ

Anthony Geary ... Redhead (as Tony Geary)
Ed Gilbert ... Priest (as Edmund Gilbert)
Ben Hammer ... Second Doctor
Milton Barnes ... First Reader
Wayne Heffley ... Captain
Lynn Hanratty ... Elisabeth Age 6
Ernestine Johnston ... Farm Woman
Joseph Kaufmann ... Rudy (as Joseph Kaufman)
Mike Lee ... Bill Harper
Kerry MacLane ... Joe Age 10
William Mims ... Gentleman
Byron Morrow ... Brigadier General

Alice Nunn ... Third Nurse
Marge Redmond ... First Nurse
Jodean Lawrence ... Second Nurse (as Jodean Russo)

Diane Varsi ... Fourth Nurse

David Soul ... Swede
Peter Virgo Jr. ... Attendant
Gigi Vorgan ... Catherine Age 13
Jeffrey Walker ... Fifth Guy (as Jeff Walker)
Bruce Watson ... Technician
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Winston Churchill ... Himself - Opening Credits (archive footage) (uncredited)
Xus Estruch ... (uncredited)
Ken Globus ... Waiter (uncredited)
Margaret Pellegrini ... (uncredited)
Philippe Pétain ... Himself - Opening Credits (archive footage) (uncredited)

Pepe Serna ... Jose (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Churchgoer (uncredited)

Tom Tryon ... (uncredited)
Tsar Nicholas II ... Himself - Opening Credits (archive footage) (uncredited)
Tsarina Alexandra ... Himself - Opening Credits (archive footage) (uncredited)
Etienne Veazie ... Black Youth (uncredited)
Cynthia Wilson ... Catherine Age 7 (uncredited)
Woodrow Wilson ... Himself - Opening Credits (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Dalton Trumbo 
Writing credits
Dalton Trumbo (novel)

Dalton Trumbo (screenplay)

Luis Buñuel  uncredited

Produced by
Bruce Campbell .... producer
Tony Monaco .... associate producer
Christopher Trumbo .... associate producer
Tom Tryon .... executive producer
Original Music by
Jerry Fielding 
Cinematography by
Jules Brenner 
Film Editing by
Millie Moore 
Casting by
Tony Monaco 
Production Design by
Harold Michelson 
Art Direction by
Jeremy Kay 
Harold Michelson 
Set Decoration by
George R. Nelson 
Bob Signorelli  (as Robert Signorelli)
Costume Design by
Theadora Van Runkle 
Makeup Department
Phil Rhodes .... makeup artist (as Phillip Rhodes)
Lorraine Roberson .... hair stylist
Production Management
James F. Sommers .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Christopher Trumbo .... assistant director
Art Department
James Martin Bachman .... assistant art director (as James Bachman)
Stephen R. Ferry .... property master (as Stephen Ferry)
Sound Department
Samuel M. Annis .... looping editor
Harold M. Etherington .... sound mixer (as Hal Etherington)
James M. Falkinburg .... sound effects editor (as Jim Nelson)
Bob Minkler .... sound effects mixer (as Robert Minkler)
Howard S. Wollman .... dialogue mixer (as Howard Wollman)
Special Effects by
Dick Williams .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Melissa Campbell .... still photographer
Dick Colean .... first assistant camera
George Rumanes .... lighting director
Bud Schindler .... key grip (as Bud Shindler)
Robert Touyarot .... camera operator
Casting Department
Marsha Kleinman .... assistant to casting director
Costume and Wardrobe Department
James Kessler .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Elizabeth H. Buxton .... assistant editor (as Elizabeth Buxton)
William Paul Dornisch .... supervising editor (as William P. Dornisch)
June Gilham .... negative cutter
Music Department
Jerry Fielding .... conductor
Erma E. Levin .... music editor (as Erma Levin)
Don Minkler .... music mixer (as Donald Minkler)
Transportation Department
Elmore Adams .... transportation director
Other crew
Deanna Beeler .... secretary to the director
Milton Birnbaum .... medical advisor (as Dr. Milton Birnbaum)
John Bright .... production associate
Dorothea Campbell .... production associate
Madeline Colie .... production secretary (as Madeline Oolie)
Aubrey Finn .... attorney
Eugene Frenke .... production associate (as Gene Frenke)
Robert Haggiag .... production associate
Simon Lazarus .... production associate
Clarke Lindsley .... assistant to producer
John Lott .... production coordinator
Bob Milford .... production consultant
Carolyn Newman .... production secretary
Roy Silver .... production associate
Dale Strange .... set operator
Pamela H. Vanneck .... assistant to producer
Marvin Weldon .... script supervisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun" - USA (complete title)
See more »
111 min
Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" at the end of the film means: "It is sweet and proper to die for one's country."See more »
Father:Put your arms around me. I need to feel their warmth, to keep the chill of death away.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Metallica: The Videos 1989-2004 (2006) (V)See more »
Keep the Home Fires BurningSee more »


What are the statistics shown on screen just before the end credits?
See more »
31 out of 39 people found the following review useful.
One of the finest uses of motion picture film I have ever seen., 3 July 2006
Author: bsnstatprof from United States

Johnny Got His Gun is a motion picture based on a 1938 anti-war book that used World War I as the setting. It should be noted that Dalton Trumbo (1905-1976), author of the book and director of the movie was a brilliant Hollywood screenwriter who also wrote the scripts for several Academy Award winning movies such as Exodus, Roman Holiday, Spartacus and The Brave One. He was one of the big 10 blacklisted in the 1940s by Hollywood and essentially forced to move to Mexico. He had joined the Communist party in 1943, thinking that it was all about caring for fellow human beings and ensuring that working people are paid fairly rather than being turned into semi-slaves. He was not terribly interested in the political agenda of the American Communist Party and dropped it in the mid 1940s to instead put his efforts into unionization. However, during the McCarthy era, the fact that he really had little to do with communism didn't matter. He was targeted by McCarthy, and imprisoned for a year for standing on his 5th Amendment rights by refusing to testify before McCarthy's committee. One must wonder if this book had something to do with why he was targeted in that immediate post WWII, rabidly pro-war and anti-communist culture.

This film is graced by several stars and minor players who were relative unknowns in 1971 when the film was released. They included not only Southerland, but also Timothy Bottoms, Tom Tryon, and David Soul. Additionally, some pretty well known actors such as Alice Nunn, Marsha Hunt, and Jason Robards had parts in the film. These excellent actors brought their considerable skills to what was essentially a low-budget anti-war film made and released during the Vietnam war. Strangely (at least to me), the movie wasn't a hit with the anti-war crowd during the very early 1970s--perhaps because the depiction of the terrible injuries suffered by the protagonist were just too real to those threatened with being drafted.

This is clearly an anti-war film because it shows the horror of war in the person of Johnny Bonham, a soldier whose body was blown apart by an explosive. All Johnny was left with was a horribly damaged body--essentially just a head and torso. He was left with none of the physical senses humans use to communicating with other people no eyes, ears or tongue. In the normal course of events, doctors would have let him die of his horrific injuries. However, in this case they used him as an experiment to see how well/long they could keep an essentially "dead" body alive. The doctors assumed his injuries were such that he had no consciousness and no ability to suffer. How wrong they were! In a surrealistic format, the film goes back and forth from a black and white present, to a color past showing Johnny's memories, and back to the present in which Johnny has discussions with Jesus Christ (played by a young Donald Southerland).

To this viewer, it was the beauty of human compassion demonstrated first by a nurse supervisor and later by the young nurse who cared for Johnny that resonated. When we first see Johnny as a patient, he is "stored" in what looks like some kind of utility room, with no light, no air, and no human contact other than the minimum necessary to provide physical care. The nursing supervisor (sort of a battle-Axel type) comes in and demands that the window be opened so he can have the light and sun on his face and some fresh air. When the other nurses start to protest that he won't feel these things, she shuts them up with a words to the effect that she would not stand for treating any patient with less than excellent nursing care. (Being a nurse myself, I recognized immediately the nursing standards she was demanding although her words would probably not be understood in that context by a non-nurse). That brusk nurse supervisor's demand that even this terribly disabled person be treated with respect and concern was a tiny, but powerful scene in the movie, because it communicated the essential worth of all people, no matter their station or condition.

Later young nurse gives Johnny sensitive and kind care to, even though she has no idea that he has any mental awareness. The brilliance of her caring for even this, the least of patients, shows what human beneficence should be in this world. And it showed especially what being a nurse should mean. To me, the many shades and colors of human feeling for other people, and the importance of human caring--even under the most drastic of circumstances, was a key element of this film. To that extent, the message of about how humans should and should not view and interact with each other was even more powerful than the anti-war message.

I would recommend that anyone who can see this film treat themselves to a truly amazing experience. I've only seen it twice, and saw much more in the film the second time than I saw the first time. My guess is that if I obtain the DVD and see it several more times, additional layers of meaning will emerge. The film is that deep and that complex in its many forms and shades of meaning.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (78 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Johnny Got His Gun (1971)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
the most powerful, deeply disturbing cry against war dario_van_kuschn
Whats so disturbing about this?? prawncrackyourballs
Review Featured on Main Page WilhoitJP-1
How long is Joe in the hospital peggy714
An update to 1971 version? kiwifemale
LaserDisc Version - Runtime Difference? brandon-caplan
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Persepolis Gone with the Wind Kings & Queen Jarhead Big Fish
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.