7.9/10
14,374
83 user 68 critic

Johnny Got His Gun (1971)

R | | Drama, War | 4 August 1971 (USA)
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In this tragic, dark, anti-war satire, a patriotic young American in WW1 is rendered blind, deaf, limbless, and mute by a horrific artillery shell attack. Trapped in what's left of his body, he desperately looks for a way to end his life.

Director:

Dalton Trumbo

Writers:

Dalton Trumbo (novel), Dalton Trumbo (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Timothy Bottoms ... Joe Bonham
Kathy Fields Kathy Fields ... Kareen
Marsha Hunt ... Joe's Mother
Jason Robards ... Joe's Father
Donald Sutherland ... Christ
Charles McGraw ... Mike Burkeman
Sandy Brown Wyeth Sandy Brown Wyeth ... Lucky
Don 'Red' Barry ... Jody Simmons (as Donald Barry)
Peter Brocco ... Ancient Prelate
Kendell Clarke Kendell Clarke ... Hospital Offical
Eric Christmas ... Corporal Timlon
Eduard Franz ... Col. / Gen. Tillery
Craig Bovia Craig Bovia ... Little Guy
Judy Howard Chaikin Judy Howard Chaikin ... Bakery Girl
Dalton Trumbo ... Orator (as Robert Cole)
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Storyline

Joe, a young American soldier, is hit by a mortar shell on the last day of World War I. He lies in a hospital bed in a fate worse than death - a quadruple amputee who has lost his arms, legs, eyes, ears, mouth and nose. He remains conscious and able to think, thereby reliving his life through strange dreams and memories, unable to distinguish whether he is awake or dreaming. He remains frustrated by his situation, until one day when Joe discovers a unique way to communicate with his caregivers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Made love - he did. Make war - he did. Make it - he didn't. Johnny got his gun. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 August 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun See more »

Filming Locations:

Lake Tahoe, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,735
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

World Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Glen Glenn Sound)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jason Robards was paid $40,000 for his role as Joe's dad. See more »

Quotes

Christ: No arms?
Joe: I havn't got anything. I'm just like a piece of meat that keeps on living.
See more »

Crazy Credits

War Dead Since 1914: Over 80,000,000 Missing or Mutilated: Over 150,000,000 "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" See more »

Alternate Versions

On the Laserdisc version the scene where Joe gets the phone call about his fathers death is extended after his boss walks up to him and Joe explains his situation, afterward his boss gets another worker to drive him home. See more »

Connections

Referenced in House: Locked In (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Keep the Home Fires Burning
(uncredited)
Music by Ivor Novello
Lyrics by Lena Guilbert Ford
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
when the script takes the movie up there.
2 August 2005 | by aristofanisSee all my reviews

I saw this movie on public Greek TV (original version with subtitles), and was glued to the screen until the very end. I would say that it develops in three modes. One is the horrible black and white present, one is the colorful past (memory) and one is the surreal world of Johnny's dreams where he is conscious of his injury! I haven't understood how the scenes with his father in the past add up to the movie very well. The acting isn't superb and some lines could have been different. The black and white cinematography is very convincing and the scenes with the last nurse are tremendous! Aside from the downsides of war which are evident, the movie also deals with how the system is willing to suppress its own fabricated heroes when they fall short of its ideology. One of the best Hollywood movies ever made, chiefly due to its powerful script. 8/10


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