MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,653 this week

The Great Santini (1979)

 -  Drama  -  26 October 1979 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,914 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 20 critic

As he approaches manhood, Ben Meechum struggles to win the approval of his demanding alpha male father, an aggressively competitive, but frustrated marine pilot.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (written for the screen by), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Unbroken: An interview with Angelina Jolie

IMDb's Arno Kazarian chats with Angelina Jolie about working with cinematographer Roger Deakins and harnessing Jack O'Connell's fire

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 02 Jun 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 04 Jul 2011
 
a list of 41 titles
created 12 Feb 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 14 Sep 2013
 
A1
a list of 21 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Great Santini (1979)

The Great Santini (1979) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Great Santini.
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A broken-down, middle-aged country singer gets a new wife, reaches out to his long-lost daughter, and tries to put his troubled life back together.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Robert Duvall, Tess Harper, Betty Buckley
The Apostle (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After his happy life spins out of control, a preacher from Texas changes his name, goes to Louisiana and starts preaching on the radio.

Director: Robert Duvall
Stars: Robert Duvall, Todd Allen, Paul Bagget
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The families of children who died sue two companies for dumping toxic waste: a tort so expensive to prove, the case could bankrupt their lawyer.

Director: Steven Zaillian
Stars: John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kathleen Quinlan
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Earl Pilcher Jr., runs an equipment rental outfit in Arkansas, lives with his wife and kids and parents, and rarely takes off his gimme cap. His mother dies, leaving a letter explaining ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Pearce
Stars: Robert Duvall, James Earl Jones, Michael Beach
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of the 1960 hostile extraction of the Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann, by the Mossad to Israeli justice.

Director: William A. Graham
Stars: Robert Duvall, Arliss Howard, Jeffrey Tambor
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A worldly ambitious monsignor clashes with his older brother, a cynical L.A.homicide detective investigates the brutal murder of a young prostitute.

Director: Ulu Grosbard
Stars: Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Charles Durning
The Stunt Man (1980)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A fugitive stumbles on a movie set just when they need a new stunt man, takes the job as a way to hide out, and falls for the leading lady.

Director: Richard Rush
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, Barbara Hershey
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An aging hitman gets a contract to kill a general in Buenos Aires. But when his mark becomes unavailable, he becomes involved in Argentinian tango culture.

Director: Robert Duvall
Stars: Robert Duvall, Luciana Pedraza, Rubén Blades
Stalin (TV Movie 1992)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The life and career of the brutal Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin.

Director: Ivan Passer
Stars: Robert Duvall, Julia Ormond, Maximilian Schell
Adam's Rib (TV Series 1973)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A TV adaptation of the Tracy/Hepburn classic. Adam Bonner was a young assistant DA while his wife, Amanda, was a junior partner in a law firm. Their jobs often put them in conflict within ... See full summary »

Stars: Ken Howard, Blythe Danner, Norman Bartold
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lt. Col. 'Bull' Meechum
...
Lillian Meechum
...
...
Mary Anne Meechum
Julie Anne Haddock ...
Karen Meechum
...
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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Santini  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

David Keith's film debut. See more »

Goofs

The film takes place in 1962, but the aircraft are F-4J Phantom II's, an aircraft that was manufactured in 1966. The aircraft have ECM antennas on the intake shoulders, which were added in 1975. Finally, the planes are gull-gray on the bellies and noses. This was a paint scheme mandated in 1978. See more »

Quotes

Bull Meechum: [to his subordinates] You're looking at Bull Meechum now, and this is the eye of the storm!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Body of Proof: Hard Knocks (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
a wonderful movie with wonderful performances
21 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Imagine a man who considers winning to be absolutely everything. He is like the coach of a sports team, yet he encompasses a far greater reach of authority. And yet, he wants even more authority and always seems to be getting it, because of his natural air of authority and others' natural air of backing down in the fright of his presence. He is a coach, a military man, a patriot, abusive, and to make things even more shocking: a father who just doesn't really know how to be one except his own way. And you have a picture of the type of character that Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall plays in this film. He got another nomination for the Academy Award in this film, although he unfortunately did not win it.

"The Great Santini" is a dramatic film near to perfection and one of the finest great movies of the 70s. Majority of the screen time is devoted to the relationship between Robert Duvall and his screen son, portrayed by Michael O'Keefe, also in an Oscar-nominated performance. The whole point of this is that O'Keefe is the oldest out of four children who have spent their whole life being raised, bullied, and commanded by Duvall. He runs their lives like a boot camp. There is no mercy, no generosity, and all you get for a good job, is a slap on the back. Duvall is trying to raise them in the best way he knows. He wants them to succeed in life, but the only method he knows that is effective is to be rough. And O'Keefe's character has decided he's had enough of being treated like a soldier in war.

Every aspect in "The Great Santini" is developed and executed perfectly to a magnificent entertaining level. The varsity basketball game depicted in the film is just like watching a real high school ball game. It's not full of tough, imaginative lines. Nothing remarkable happens during it, and yet it is a powerful sequence and highly entertaining, almost as if you were sitting with the cheering and jeering friends and family members of the characters. There are also powerful messages about racism and violence in the film, performed through a friendship between the characters portrayed by Michael O'Keefe, Stan Shaw, and David Keith. It is an excellent subplot that is the next-to-most-important aspect of the story and it involves pretty much all of the characters in some way, shape, or form. It's not just an in-the-background tragedy.

"The Great Santini" plays out as a magnificent story, mostly revolving around the character played by Robert Duvall. As we see him, he goes on an off with his temper and general-like behavior, and we come to like and dislike him over the course of the film, respecting him as if he were a real person before us. While he's really nothing more than a fictional character being portrayed by a magnificent and talented actor, he is in his own way, one of the greatest heroes of film history. And he just wants everybody to see things his way.

Recommended.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why was the movie called the great Santini JAlexa9898
Toomer - Saddest Story Ever? michigan803-1
This is the Truth about Military Life! wildrose-1
who/what is the great santini? vpoholek
sister: prom date cstan06
having read the book, should i watch the movie? huggin_possums
Discuss The Great Santini (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?