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The Big Red One (1980)

R | | Drama, War | 18 July 1980 (USA)
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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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 ... 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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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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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

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a review in the 'Variety Movie Guide', this movie was "Based on [the] writer-director's [i.e. Samuel Fuller] own experiences as a GI, pic was announced as a John Wayne starrer in the late 1950s and came close to realization on many other occasions, but only came together when producer Gene Corman found means to make it almost entirely in Israel." See more »

Goofs

1st Infantry Division on 11th November 1918 held the line along Meuse river, near the town Mouzon (that were the final stages of Meuse-Argonne offensive, and whole war altogether); in the movie, when sergeant and his team approach an ambush by the old cross, we see that this is the spot from the first scene, the last day of the WWI. And on the memorial ("But the names are the same...") it reads "Killed in action - Soissons". Big Red One actually did fight near Soissons, but that was during the so-called Second Battle of the Marne, July to first week of August 1918. See more »

Quotes

Zab: [narrating] Those Sicilian women cooked us a terrific meal. I'ts too bad they were all over fifty. We were more horny than we were hungry.
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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 L.A. Without a Map (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

'O sole mio
Music by Eduardo Di Capua (uncredited)
Lyrics by Giovanni Capurro (uncredited)
Performed by Bobby Di Cicco
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Vignettes of the Survivors of War
9 January 2005 | by JerryP-2See all my reviews

The Big Red One isn't so much a war movie as it is a message, sometimes obscure, of what war is really like. There is much symbolism in this movie, for example the human arm, with a wristwatch on it, washing in the bloody surf of Omaha Beach. If you want realistic detail of combat, watch Saving Private Ryan. If you want to the voice of experience, blurry from the passage of time, The Big Red One is a movie to see.

Keep in mind that this movie reflects the life experiences of some survivors of WWII. That Lee Marvin was cast as the grizzled sergeant is part of the symbolism: Marvin was a combat Marine who participated in the invasion of Saipan; he is cast as a survivor of WWI who is retracing part of the path he took during that conflict. I found some of the scenes from the movie barely believable, for example, the French insane asylum, but you must keep in mind that there is a message from the survivors of that war in each and every scene. How you take the message, apparently, is up to you.


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