25 user 13 critic

The Big Shave (1967)

Not Rated | | Short, Drama, Horror | October 1968 (USA)
In the process of shaving, a young man cuts himself. A lot.


Martin Scorsese


Martin Scorsese
1 win. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Peter Bernuth Peter Bernuth ... Young Man


This short film is a metaphor for the Vietnam War. A man walks into a meticulously clean and sterile bathroom, concentrating on the polished porcelain and shiny metal motif. He then proceeds to shave. When his face is clean, however, he only continues to shave until he pierces through his skin. Blood covers him and falls around him, the red contrasting the perfect spotlessness of the bathroom. Written by Joseph D. Guernsey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama | Horror


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This film is included in the "Martin Scorsese Shorts" set, released by the Criterion Collection, spine #1,030. See more »

Crazy Credits

Whiteness - Herman Melville See more »

Alternate Versions

Some prints allegedly contain a final title card connecting the film to the Vietnam War, though such prints are no longer in circulation, nor is it on the videocassette version. See more »


Referenced in American Dad!: The Best Christmas Story Never Told (2006) See more »

User Reviews

Classic Black Comedy
6 March 2009 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Big Shave, The (1967)

**** (out of 4)

Six-minute short from the now legendary director feature a lot of his trademark even though this is basically just a student film. A young man goes in front of the mirror to shave and it goes fine until he decides to do it again and this time he butchers his face with the razor, which sends blood all down the sink. I've heard this was an anti-Vietnam film but I really didn't see it as such, although I guess you could draw a message out of what happens here. To me this is a wonderful little black comedy that's certainly going to hit home to anyone who has ever cut themselves shaving. The film doesn't go for minor little cuts but instead it's a real bloodbath and I might even go as far as to say this contains some of the most blood ever put on film during this time. You have the H.G. Lewis films of course and I can't help but wonder if Scorsese was a fan of those since there's a lot of the same humor here. The movie has a nice music score, great editing and in the end is just painfully funny.

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Release Date:

October 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Shave See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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