7.2/10
5,106
41 user 24 critic

The Great Santini (1979)

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Conrack (1974)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

White Pat Conroy was born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina. In March, 1969 under the Beaufort School District, he starts a job teaching at a small poor school located on Daufuskie ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Jon Voight, Paul Winfield, Madge Sinclair
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 | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1960s America, a black cadet is allowed acceptance into a seemingly prestigious military academy, unleashing a barrage of corruption within the system that another cadet is willing to expose.

Director: Franc Roddam
Stars: David Keith, Robert Prosky, G.D. Spradlin
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While waiting on a delayed flight, David Trask, who has left his unfaithful wife, meets three of his fellow passengers. When the aircraft crashes, he is one of few survivors, and sets out to resolve their unfinished business.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Bette Davis, Shelley Winters, Gary Merrill
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
Edit

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
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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ace See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original novel had a joke about two Bulls and a field of cows, which is where "Bull" got his nickname. This joke was repeated by Robert Duvall's character in Colors (1988). See more »

Goofs

In the night flying scene (which was actually a Day for Night shoot), when Bull lights the afterburners on his F-4, we barely see the afterburner flames inside the engine nozzles. At nighttime, the afterburner flames on an F-4 are visible to at least half the length of the aircraft behind the nozzles and up to over twice the length. See more »

Quotes

Mary Anne Meechum: Hey Dad, why do you love me more than your other children?
Bull Meechum: Beat it, I'm reading the sports page.
Mary Anne Meechum: Let's have a conversation Dad. Let's bare our souls and get to know one another.
Bull Meechum: I don't want you to get to know me. I like being an enigma, like a Chink. Now scram.
Mary Anne Meechum: Am I a Meechum Dad? Can girls be real Meechums; girls without jump shots? Or am a simple form of Meechum, like in biology. Mary Anne, the one-celled Meechum.
Bull Meechum: Mary Anne scram, I'm starting to lose my temper; Lilian!
Mary Anne Meechum: [falls to the ground] ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: Double Date (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodnight, Sweetheart
(uncredited)
Music by Ray Noble
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 41 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed