7.2/10
17,068
119 user 76 critic

The Big Red One (1980)

The story of a sergeant and the inner core members of his unit as they serve in and try to survive World War II.

Director:

Samuel Fuller

Writer:

Samuel Fuller

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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

A ragtag group of American stragglers battles against superior Communist troops in an abandoned Buddhist temple during the Korean War.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Gene Evans, Robert Hutton, Steve Brodie
White Dog (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A trainer attempts to retrain a vicious dog that's been raised to attack black people.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Kristy McNichol, Christa Lang, Vernon Weddle
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Bent on winning a Pulitzer Prize, a journalist commits himself to a mental institution to solve a strange and unclear murder.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Peter Breck, Constance Towers, Gene Evans
Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

During World War II, a rebellious U.S. Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A couple goes on the run after being accused for a crime they didn't commit.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Véronique Jannot, Bobby Di Cicco, Victor Lanoux
Action | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

During WW2, American General Worden orders Major Reisman to pick 12 soldiers from the military prison for the dangerous mission of killing a Nazi General.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Ken Wahl
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Kelly, a prostitute, traumatised by an experience, referred to as 'The Naked Kiss,' by psychiatrists, leaves her past, and finds solace in the town of Grantville. She meets Griff, the ... See full summary »

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Constance Towers, Anthony Eisley, Karen Conrad
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Documentary stems from 1945, when infantryman Sam Fuller, member of the U.S. Army's "Big Red One," helped liberate the Nazis' Falkenau death camp. Fuller shot footage of his commanding ... See full summary »

Directors: Samuel Fuller, Emil Weiss
Stars: Samuel Fuller
Action | Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A rock star-turned-bum, his vocal chords severed at the height of his career for the love of a woman, reclaims his forgotten past after viewing a music video and seeks revenge against the mobster who maimed him.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Keith Carradine, Valentina Vargas, Bill Duke
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Bob Ford murders his best friend Jesse James in order to obtain a pardon that will free him to marry his girlfriend but is plagued by guilt and self-disgust.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Preston Foster, Barbara Britton, John Ireland
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The 'reconstruction' the title refers to is the re-working, re-editing, restructuring of Sam Fuller's The Big Red One brining it closer to the film Fuller had originally envisioned It ... See full summary »

Director: Samuel Fuller
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Marvin ... The Sergeant
Mark Hamill ... Pvt. Griff - 1st Squad
Robert Carradine ... Pvt. Zab - 1st Squad
Bobby Di Cicco ... Pvt. Vinci - 1st Squad
Kelly Ward ... Pvt. Johnson - 1st Squad
Stéphane Audran ... Underground Walloon Fighter at Asylum (as Stephane Audran)
Siegfried Rauch ... Schroeder - German Sergeant
Serge Marquand Serge Marquand ... Rensonnet
Charles Macaulay Charles Macaulay ... General / Captain
Alain Doutey ... Broban - Vichy Sergeant)
Maurice Marsac ... Vichy Colonel
Colin Gilbert Colin Gilbert ... Dogface POW
Joseph Clark Joseph Clark ... Pvt. Shep - Soldier on Troop Transport
Ken Campbell Ken Campbell ... Pvt. Lemchek - #2 on Bangalore Torpedo
Doug Werner Doug Werner ... Switolski
Edit

Storyline

The story of a hardened army Sergeant and four of his men from their first fight at the Kasserine Pass after the invasion of North Africa through to the invasion of Sicily, D-Day, the Ardennes forest and the liberation of a concentration camp at the end of the war. As the five of them fight - and survive to fight yet again in the next battle - new recruits joining the squad are swatted down by the enemy on a regular basis. The four privates are naturally reluctant to get to know any of the new recruits joining the squad, who become just a series of nameless faces. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only chance could have thrown them together. Now, nothing can pull them apart. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for war violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian | German

Release Date:

18 July 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Red One See more »

Filming Locations:

Israel See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,206,220, 31 December 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (reconstructed)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (reconstruction)| Dolby (original release)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to film historian Richard Schickel, the scene in which the sergeant (Lee Marvin) is wounded is a re-creation of how Marvin was wounded in real life as a Marine in the Pacific. As in the film, Marvin was shot through the back and collapsed down on his knees. See more »

Goofs

When the machine gun is firing from the tank, a truck is visible and is nearby to the tank. From the view of the cross, there is no truck at the scene. See more »

Quotes

Griff: I can't murder anybody.
The Sergeant: We don't murder; we kill.
Griff: It's the same thing.
The Sergeant: The hell it is, Griff. You don't murder animals; you kill 'em.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2004, film critic Richard Schickel restored this film to a new director's cut length of approximately 160 minutes. Using Samuel Fuller's production notes and the full-length, unexpurgated script, Schickel restored the footage that was forced to be cut by the studio upon its original 1980 release (which runs 116 minutes). The restored version's DVD release date is 3 May 2005. This longer, epic-length version is closer to Fuller's original vision for the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Roses from the South
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Vignettes of the Survivors of War
9 January 2005 | by JerryP-2See all my reviews

The Big Red One isn't so much a war movie as it is a message, sometimes obscure, of what war is really like. There is much symbolism in this movie, for example the human arm, with a wristwatch on it, washing in the bloody surf of Omaha Beach. If you want realistic detail of combat, watch Saving Private Ryan. If you want to the voice of experience, blurry from the passage of time, The Big Red One is a movie to see.

Keep in mind that this movie reflects the life experiences of some survivors of WWII. That Lee Marvin was cast as the grizzled sergeant is part of the symbolism: Marvin was a combat Marine who participated in the invasion of Saipan; he is cast as a survivor of WWI who is retracing part of the path he took during that conflict. I found some of the scenes from the movie barely believable, for example, the French insane asylum, but you must keep in mind that there is a message from the survivors of that war in each and every scene. How you take the message, apparently, is up to you.


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 119 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed