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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)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Stars: Barbra Streisand, Nick Nolte, Blythe Danner
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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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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 character of "Coach Spinks" is based on Jerry Swing, who coached Pat Conroy in high school. See more »

Goofs

When Ben meets his dad at the officers' club to celebrate Ben's 18th birthday, Bull offers a toast. When he rises to offer the toast, he picks up the beer glass. However, when the camera angle changes, he is now holding the liquor glass and the beer glass is back on the table. See more »

Quotes

Coach Spinks: I want us to win and win big. I want us to make our school proud, I want us to make our parents proud, our grandparents proud, our first and second cousins proud, our POONTANG proud and ourselves proud.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Hot Chick (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Fascination
(uncredited)
Music by Fermo Dante Marchetti
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User Reviews

The Great Santini
16 June 1999 | by Coxer99See all my reviews

Duvall received a much deserved Oscar nomination as a Marine who runs his family like he runs his men... with vigor and power. He's a Patton without a war and Duvall plays it off beautifully. O'Keefe (also Oscar nominated) is fantastic as his son who's only wish is to please his father. There are many startling scenes in the picture, especially the basketball game where Duvall orders O'Keefe to put another player "on the floor" for obvious flagrant fouls. Duvall's Bull Meechum rules with a iron fist and screams at his son, "Put him down, or you don't come home tonight." The film is based on Pat Conroy's novel and also stars the always wonderful Danner, as Duvall's wife and Stan Shaw as a black man befriended by O'Keefe. Lewis John Carlino directs.


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