7.2/10
17,076
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

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
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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
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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:

The real glory of war is surviving. 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 »
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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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Samuel Fuller's autobiography "A Third Face" has many references and a whole chapter about the making of The Big Red One. See more »

Goofs

The 'SP' in Sicily is actually a tank (as described in another 'goof'); 'SPs' are generally turretless, with the cannon mounted in the hull. See more »

Quotes

Zab: I'll be a son-of-a-bitch. My mother sold my novel to Hollywood for Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson.
Vinci: [doing a Robinson imitation] Hey, how much?
Zab: For fifteen thousand bucks!
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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

Referenced in Hellboy (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Horst Wessel Song
(uncredited)
Written by Horst Wessel
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Perhaps the last great movie of Lee Marvin...
29 February 2000 | by keihanSee all my reviews

Some movies are like buried treasure; someone manages to slip them into the theater, practically under every critic's nose, where they either thrive or famish and then vanish into the nearest video catalog. "The Big Red One" is one of those films. For all the hoopla created by "Saving Private Ryan" (another excellent film, which, in my opinion, had a better understanding of it's subject than a lot of it's critics gave it credit for), it owed a great deal to what Sam Fuller did a decade and a half before.

Lee Marvin, an actual WWII veteran himself, holds the film together as the tough but exhausted seargent. When he tells Mark Hamill (yes, Luke Skywalker, folks) that you don't murder animals, you kill them, the look on his face after that seems to say that he wished it could be some other way. It's hard to grab defining moments in this film as stand-out, but the two sequences that stick the most to my mind are the taking of the insane asylum and the horrors of the concentration camp. While other movies have focused on specific campaigns, "The Big Red One" deserves high marks for painting the broad canvass of the Second World War from the perspective of the guys who actually had to do the work.


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