The Big Red One
Director: Samuel FULLER
USA – 1980 - 117mn
Sunday 15TH 2:00pm Junior High School
The film follows the First Infantry Division from Africa to Europe during the years 1942 through 1945.
Having previously fought in World War I, an unnamed sergeant (Lee Marvin) now leads soldiers of the U.S. First Infantry Division. His men include conflicted marksman Pvt. Griff (Mark Hamill), pulp novel writer Pvt. Zab (Robert Carradine), Sicilian Pvt. Vinci (Bobby Di Cicco) and medic Pvt. Johnson (Kelly Ward). The soldiers adapt to the hardships of war as they see conflict in North Africa and Sicily, take part in the D-Day landings, and liberate a Nazi concentration camp.
This is Marvin's picture, and he dominates it not with heroics and speechmaking but with competence, patience, realism, and a certain tender sadness.
Fuller is revered by many filmmakers (Scorsese, Wenders, Tarantino) and a major cult of devotees because his films pack real punch. The Big Red One is his autobiographical masterpiece.