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The Great Santini (1979)

PG | | Drama | 26 October 1979 (USA)
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2:40 | Trailer

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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:

Lewis John Carlino

Writers:

Pat Conroy (novel), Lewis John Carlino (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:
Robert Duvall ... Lt. Col. 'Bull' Meechum
Blythe Danner ... Lillian Meechum
Michael O'Keefe ... Ben Meechum
Lisa Jane Persky ... Mary Anne Meechum
Julie Anne Haddock Julie Anne Haddock ... Karen Meechum
Brian Andrews ... Matthew Meechum
Stan Shaw ... Toomer Smalls
Theresa Merritt ... Arrabella Smalls
David Keith ... Red Petus
Paul Mantee ... Col. Virgil Hedgepath
Michael Strong ... Col. Varney
Bennett Liss Bennett Liss ... Cpl. Atcherly
Joe Dorsey ... Coach Spinks
David Frankham David Frankham ... Capt. Weber
Jan Stratton 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ace See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,702,575, 31 December 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bing Crosby Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

In Colonel Hedgepath's office, he admonished, "And don't go attacking anymore corporals on the latrine!" No Marine would refer to a bathroom as a "latrine"; that is an Army term. In the Marine Corps and the Navy, the term is "head." See more »

Quotes

Ben Meechum: [Angry with his father] I hope he dies out there with the rest of the snakes!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Moon River
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Mancini
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User Reviews

 
Robert Duvall's best performance!
28 January 1999 | by andy-227See 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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