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Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | | Drama, War | 10 July 1987 (USA)
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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
537 ( 136)
Top Rated Movies #94 | 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:

Acclaimed by critics as the best war movie ever made 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

Production designer Anton Furst went through 6000 photos of the Vietnam War as research. He wanted to create an image of a nightmarish inferno: "We didn't want blue skies; if the sun came out, Kurbick didn't shoot. When the squad went into the burned out city of Quai, we had every building on fire. Paris Island was supposed to train them for their tour of Vietnam, so we contrasted the unbelievable cleanness of the boot camp with the incredible filth of the actual war; the point was that they came up against something they could never have trained for." See more »

Goofs

Joker, Animal, and the helicopter door gunner all occasionally fire very long bursts from their M60 machine guns. Real Marines are taught to fire automatic weapons in short bursts to prevent overheating and jamming, and to conserve ammunition. 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 Tosh.0: Make It Snow Girl (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Wooly Bully
Written by Domingo Samudio
Performed by Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Products, a Division of PolyGram Records Inc.
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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