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The Big Red One (1980)

R | | Drama, War | 18 July 1980 (USA)
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2:31 | Trailer
A hardened sergeant and the four core members of his infantry unit try to survive World War II as they move from battle to battle throughout Europe.

Director:

Samuel Fuller

Writer:

Samuel Fuller
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Popularity
2,344 ( 4,622)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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 ... Sgt. Schroeder
Serge Marquand Serge Marquand ... Rensonnet
Charles Macaulay Charles Macaulay ... General / World War I Captain
Alain Doutey ... Sgt. Broban - Vichy Soldier
Maurice Marsac ... Vichy Colonel
Colin Gilbert Colin Gilbert ... Dog Face POW - Tunis Hospital
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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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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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film commentary, Richard Schickel points out two incidents which really happened to Samuel Fuller while serving in the Big Red One and are given to Pvt. Zab (Robert Carradine) in the film: One was when Zab is playing basketball and spots Keiser (Perry Lang) reading his novel. In real life, Fuller didn't know his novel had been published until he spotted a soldier reading it. The other major incident is when Zab acts as runner during the D-Day invasion and tells the colonel that they've broken through. Fuller was awarded a medal for his actions. See more »

Goofs

Scenes set in Sicily show a modern Italian tricolor adopted for the Republic of Italy in 1948. During the war the flag would have been the Kingdom of Italy flag with the same tricolor but a House of Savoy emblem in the white field. 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

Referenced in Beauty (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

Good personal story from Sam Fuller
18 April 2000 | by JAM-31See all my reviews

This film is really about the experiences that Sam Fuller had during WWII. It is a bit dated, and the low budget really shows, but SF clearly did the best with what he had, and it stands as a great monument on war from a director who was really there.

All of the characters are very likeable, and well acted by Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, and company. The movie is fiction but influenced by real events. Many of the scenes, especially one involving a group of older sicilian women who cook a big meal for the squad, ring very true, since a fiction writer would obviously try and spice them up--the film is very honest, and it is good that Fuller left this story for us. I also like how it ends on a positive, optimistic note.

"The real glory of war is surviving."


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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: The Reconstruction See more »

Filming Locations:

Israel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,206,220

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,206,823
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (reconstructed)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (reconstruction)| Dolby (original release)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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