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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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(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
...
Toomer Smalls
...
Arrabella Smalls
...
Red Petus
Paul Mantee ...
Col. Virgil Hedgepath
...
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

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Language:

Release Date:

26 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Santini  »

Company Credits

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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 movie was originally released directly to cable and airlines, under the title "The Ace". When the NY Times reviewed it very favorably, it was pulled from cable, and released to theaters under the title "The Great Santini". See more »

Goofs

During the last scene of Bull Meechum with his family on the porch prior to the Prom the youngest son is wearing a jacket covered in aviation patches. One of these patches is for the F-14 Tomcat which first flew in 1970 and wasn't operationally deployed until 1974. The film is set in 1962. See more »

Quotes

Bull Meechum: Who the hell asked you anything?
[slaps Lillian]
Lillian Meechum: Don't you talk to me like that! Now, he beat you and it was beautiful.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Teen Wolf (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Moon River
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Mancini
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Robert Duvall's best performance!
28 January 1999 | by (Sterling Heights, Michigan) – See all my reviews

I've seen Robert Duvall in other movies. He is a quiet, wise, somewhat reverent man. Being a fan of his, I caught "The Great Santini" on TV. And I gotta tell you, his performance as Bull Meechum just blew the hell out of me! I never knew he could play a role as fierce, violent, and powerful as Bull Meechum! Although it's a film with little attention, it's Robert Duvall best film! It's his best performance. The conflict between the father and the son is strong enough to wildly shake our emotions! Duvall was nominated for Best Actor, and he should've won! It's a must see! I tried purchasing it, but since it's not in high demand, the store didn't have it. It's worth owning, and it's definitely worth watching! Put it on your list of films to see next!


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