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Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | | Drama, War | 10 July 1987 (USA)
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1:29 | Trailer

On TV

Airs Wed. Jan. 30, 5:15 PM on IFC

ON DISC
A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director:

Stanley Kubrick

Writers:

Stanley Kubrick (screenplay by), Michael Herr (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
595 ( 13)
Top Rated Movies #96 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Modine ... Pvt. Joker
Adam Baldwin ... Animal Mother
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Pvt. Pyle
R. Lee Ermey ... Gny. Sgt. Hartman (as Lee Ermey)
Dorian Harewood ... Eightball
Kevyn Major Howard ... Rafterman (as Kevyn Major-Howard)
Arliss Howard ... Pvt. Cowboy
Ed O'Ross ... Lt. Touchdown
John Terry ... Lt. Lockhart
Kieron Jecchinis ... Crazy Earl
Kirk Taylor ... Payback
Tim Colceri ... Doorgunner
Jon Stafford ... Doc Jay (as John Stafford)
Bruce Boa ... Poge Colonel
Ian Tyler Ian Tyler ... Lt. Cleves
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Storyline

A two-segment look at the effect of the military mindset and war itself on Vietnam era Marines. The first half follows a group of recruits in boot camp under the command of the punishing Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. The second half shows one of those recruits, Joker, covering the war as a correspondent for Stars and Stripes, focusing on the Tet offensive. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Born to Kill See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Vietnamese

Release Date:

10 July 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,217,307, 28 June 1987, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$46,357,676
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Digital (re-mastered version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It is a common misconception that much, if not all, of R. Lee Ermey's dialogue during the Parris Island sequence was improvised. In several interviews Ermey himself has stated that he worked closely with Kubrick to help mold the script so that it was more believable, all while retaining certain dialogue crucial to Kubrick's vision. While filming the opening scene, where he disciplines Pvt. Cowboy, he says Cowboy is the type of guy who would have sex with another guy "and not even have the goddamned common courtesy to give him a reach-around". Stanley Kubrick immediately yelled cut and went over to Ermey and asked, "What the hell is a reach-around?" Ermey politely explained what it meant. Kubrick laughed and re-shot the scene, telling Ermey to keep the line. See more »

Goofs

When Joker and his photographer travel in a Sikorsky UH-34 helicopter to report on the action at the front, there are several exterior shots of the trees rushing by underneath them. During these shots, the shadow is of a Bell Jet Ranger, a different, newer helicopter. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be "Sir". Do you maggots understand that?
Recruits: [In unison in a normal speaking tone] Sir, yes Sir.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Bullshit, I can't hear you. Sound off like you got a pair!
Recruits: [In unison, much louder] SIR, YES SIR!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training, you will be a weapon. You will be a minister of death praying ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chainsaw Redux: Making a Massacre (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Chapel Of Love
Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector
Performed by The Dixie Cups
By Arrangement with Shelby Singleton Enterprises c/o Original Sound Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Paint It Black
16 November 2009 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

"With flowers and my love both never to come back ... It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black". So sings the man whose throbbing song marks the film's end, merciless lyrics to describe thematically a story that is as wrenching as it is mesmerizing.

There are no villains in this film, only heroic victims. The villains are all off-screen, comfy behind mahogany desks, or dressed for success and giving shrill speeches about how maintaining peace requires war. Strange logic.

First it's boot camp, a dreary prospect at best, for an ordinary group of young American men. Here, a sadistic drill Sargent, in colorful language, barks out orders and insults straight from Hades. It's do or die, almost literally, for our greenhorns. It's an ordeal of blackness from which some may never recover. Still, the grunts learn a valuable lesson; namely, that life is mostly physical, not mental. It's a lesson some ivory tower college professors never learn.

But then it's on to an even blacker black ... Vietnam. Combat scenes are rendered believable by effective visuals and terrific sound effects: pounding percussion, amplified sounds of equipment and footsteps across explosive debris, and an always present, ever-so-subtle ... echo. Potent and torturous, these scenes convey a Zen-like immediacy, an impending sense of doom. And then at film's end, those lyrics ...

Composed of two, barely overlapping, parts, the script's structure is a bit unorthodox. But the film works, owing to an intensity that never lets up. R. Lee Ermey is of course terrific as the harsh drillmaster. Casting of the young lions is okay, though a tad weak in one or two cases. Insertion of pop songs of the era works well, to amplify the cultural disconnect between a war-torn Vietnam and an indifferent America.

Like reading a history book, watching an occasional war movie is good for the soul. It puts one's problems in perspective. For that reason, this particular war movie is better than most. It's riveting, intense. And the sense of impending blackness hovers ever present over the story's heroic victims, like the sword of Damocles.


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