GREEN CINE Already a member? login
 Your cart
Advanced Search
- Genres
+ Action
+ Adult
+ Adventure
+ Animation
+ Anime
+ Classics
+ Comedies
+ Comic Books
+ Crime
  Criterion Collection
+ Cult
+ Documentary
+ Drama
+ Erotica
+ Espionage
+ Fantasy
+ Film Noir
+ Foreign
+ Gay & Lesbian
  HD (High Def)
+ Horror
+ Independent
+ Kids
+ Martial Arts
+ Music
+ Musicals
+ Quest
+ Science Fiction
+ Silent
+ Sports
+ Suspense/Thriller
  Sword & Sandal
+ Television
+ War
+ Westerns

The Big Red One (Special Edition) (1980)

Cast: Lee Marvin, Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, more...
Director: Samuel Fuller, Samuel Fuller
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Action, War, WWII, Adventure
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

Samuel Fuller's valedictory war picture, The Big Red One follows the First Infantry Division from Africa to Europe during the years 1942 through 1945. Lee Marvin portrays the division sergeant; he's tough and experienced, to be sure, but he takes on his job with cool professionalism rather than Hollywood bravado. Based on Fuller's own experiences, the film is a loosely constructed series of anecdotes. Among them are an insane asylum under bombardment while the inmates applaud and a climactic vignette in which a very young concentration camp internee dies while a friendly soldier plays piggy-back with the boy. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Big Red One (Special Edition) (1980)
read reviews    New Listadd to list
7.28 (60 votes)
The Big Red One (Special Edition) (Bonus Disc) (1980)
New Listadd to list
5.45 (11 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

This one will pull you in by JKelly March 28, 2006 - 8:03 AM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
...inexorably. The film is a patient version of what Saving Private Ryan could have been. Like SPR, you follow a team of soldiers through their exploits. But the story is set through a longer period of time, starting--briefly--at WWI, and really follows Lee Marvin's character, a career soldier. OK, there are some things that are off in this film, but I think the impact is minimal to the experience of the film. Yes, the pacing is a bit odd. But instead of telling a traditional story, we are exposed to a series of experiences by Marvin's character and his young team of soldiers. If jarring to see, perhaps the idea is that it was jarring to experience the reality--one day having fun in the sun on a calm beach, the next on a ship, expecting to do a routine beach landing, only to find out when you get there that you just joined D-Day. Kind of macho, and the supporting cast, including Mark Hamill, aren't first-rate, but give yourself some time to watch this and you will find yourself being pulled along, and it will stay with you afterwards.

A Surprising Waste by talltale May 16, 2005 - 1:38 PM PDT
2 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Richard Schickel begins his commentary for THE BIG RED ONE by telling us that he and his collaborative team tried to imagine the version Sam Fuller himself would have intended to be seen. Let's hope not.

I have long thought myself a full-out Fuller fan (from earlier works like the rich, wonderful "Pickup on South Street" to the over-the-top "Shock Corridor and "Naked Kiss"). The utterly lame 2 hours and 45 minutes that make up this version of what the writer/director hoped would be his statement on war is almost unrecognizable as a Sam Fuller film. Instead, it appears to be someone's idea of faux-Fuller: filled with his themes but missing his energy, shock, intelligence, ability to bring out the best in his actors, a sense of pacing, and so on.

Maybe Fuller really had not much feeling for the broad canvas and difficult action scenes (the memories that leap to my mind tend to be close-ups of actors, interesting lighting, the surprise of hearing and seeing non-mainstream ideas). Here, one location/scene dutifully follows another-- clunk, clunk. There's Africa, Sicily, Belgium, Czechoslovakia and more--filled with unreal banter between young actors who don't deliver credible characters. (They eventually seem nearly immortal because of their inability to get shot. Well, they're the heroes). A single German villain stalks them throughout the film, and this, too, seems awfully pat.

Many scenes go beyond the breaking point (the birth, the Nazi in the oven, the Hitler Youth) and whatever surprise/moral is offered hits home like a custard pie in the puss. Afterward, you may realize that you've seen almost nothing remotely memorable (certainly not a Fuller characteristic!). Lee Marvin is his usual taciturn self. He's good, but he can't bring "The Big Red One" to life.

Interestingly, Schickel has popped in--front and center--a note he says appeared in the script: This is fictional life based on factual death. Maybe the reverse would have helped.

More reviews for titles in this product:

about greencine · donations · refer a friend · support · help · genres
contact us · press room · privacy policy · terms · sitemap · affiliates · advertise

Copyright © 2005 GreenCine LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.