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The Great Santini (1979)

PG | | Drama | 26 October 1979 (USA)
As he approaches manhood, Ben Meechum struggles to win the approval of his demanding alpha male father, an aggressively competitive, but frustrated marine pilot.

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Writers:

(novel), (written for the screen by)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lt. Col. 'Bull' Meechum
...
Lillian Meechum
...
...
Mary Anne Meechum
Julie Anne Haddock ...
Karen Meechum
Brian Andrews ...
Matthew Meechum
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Toomer Smalls
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Arrabella Smalls
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Red Petus
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Col. Virgil Hedgepath
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Col. Varney
Bennett Liss ...
Cpl. Atcherly
Joe Dorsey ...
Coach Spinks
David Frankham ...
Capt. Weber
Jan Stratton ...
Mrs. Weber
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Storyline

In 1962, the Marine Corps family, the Meechums - parents Lieutenant Colonel Wilbur "Bull" Meechum and Lillian Meechum, and their four children Ben Meechum, Mary Anne Meechum, Karen Meechum and Matthew Meechum - are moving like they do most years, this time to Beaufort, South Carolina. Bull - nicknamed "the Great Santini" - is known as a great pilot, but has gotten into much trouble in the past for his sophomoric behavior. He runs his family much as a military commander, where they are all to obey his orders without question. Everything he does within the family context he reasons is to build character, but in reality everything ends up being about him. The oldest Ben, approaching manhood, is the one of his offspring who has the greatest issue with his father. Ben wants his respect, but isn't sure if he really loves him. As Ben goes through his senior year in high school, his attempts to play varsity basketball and an incident between black Toomer Smalls - his friend and their cook ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The bravest thing he would ever do was let his family love him.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Santini  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The South Carolina house where much of the movie takes place is the same house in Beaufort used in The Big Chill (1983). It is known as the "Edgar Fripp Home" as well as "Tidalholm." See more »

Goofs

As the Santini family pulls up to their new home, Lillian is seen putting her arm in the window. In the next shot her arm is no longer in the window. See more »

Quotes

Ben Meechum: Would you like to die in action, Dad?
Bull Meechum: It's better than dying of piles!
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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Laserblast (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Moon River
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Mancini
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User Reviews

This IS the "way it was"!!!!!!!!!
8 November 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

More common than not, even though it looks rather mean in these "politically correct" times, this is the way many families were back in the 50s.

The racial conflicts shown were very realistic and I'm sad to say did happen in the southern state in which I grew up. This movie does a good job of showing how the head of a family, the Dad, was "expected" to act.

Even though we are lead to believe he was a monster, we never found out that his son grew up to be a doctor of highest esteem.


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