The Big Red One


Action / Drama / War


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May 01, 2014 at 12:57 PM



Mark Hamill as Pvt. Griff, 1st Squad
Lee Marvin as The Sergeant
Robert Carradine as Pvt. Zab, 1st Squad
Kelly Ward as Pvt. Johnson, 1st Squad
720p 1080p
812.78 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 53 min
P/S 2 / 11
1.64 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 53 min
P/S 5 / 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 9 / 10

Either Version, You Have A Solid WWII Movie

This review is on the "reconstructed" DVD, a version that came out several years ago, adding 49 minutes to the original 1980 movie. (The film runs 162 minutes, not 158 as stated on the IMDb title page.)

The "old" version was very good, and this newer version makes the film even better. Either way, you have a solid war movie.

For men - and that's who will primarily watch this movie because it's a guy's flick with no romance and no women leads - this keeps the action coming, but without overdoing it. You can different kinds of action scenes, too, not just people shooting at one another.

I also appreciated the photography. It's a good visual movie. The added footage looked sharper and clearer than the previously shown, but either way it was nicely filmed and directed. Of course, the director is the famous Sam Fuller, who did a number of tough film noirs, among other things.

Speaking of tough, the person who makes this movie a notch above average is Lee Marvin. He is just excellent as the tough-on-the-outside-but-soft-hearted underneath commanding officer, known only as "The Sergeant." With his deep voice and weathered face, Marvin makes for an effective leader of tough guys. The language was much milder in here than you find in more modern films, although it can be crude in a few spots. There are no f-words and about seven usages of the Lord's name in vain. However, there are a number of sexual references, some crude but, hey, that's "guy talk." All the young soldiers were good, too. It was especially interesting to see baby-faced Star Wars' star, Mark Hamill, playing one of the soldiers in the unit called "The Big Red One."

The story with narration by one of the soldiers, tells of Marvin and his handful of men who travel and do battle from North Africa to Sicily, then Italy, the beaches of Normandy on D- Day and into Germany in addition to a few other memorable stops such as "an insane asylum."

It's long, but I never found it boring and the men never stay too long in one spot.

Reviewed by (Riharden) 10 / 10

A squad experiences every possible emotion fighting its way through WWII

This is an under-appreciated war film. You never see it on TV, I know of no widescreen version available on video, and no one talks about it in books, newspapers or on television, but it is worth renting. Made up of a number of short vignettes, the main characters experience everything from delivering a baby (in a tank!) to D-Day on Omaha Beach to liberating a death camp as they fight their way through Africa, Sicily, and Western Europe. I
understand that it is semi-autobiographical, and boy, does it pack a wallop. From the opening scene to history repeating (almost) itself at the end, it is well-crafted, says a lot and leaves the viewer changed. When the voice-over at the end says that the only glory in war is surviving, you KNOW why. Watch in particular for how Lee Marvin leads his squad, in particular when he gives an extra clip of M-1 ammunition to one of his soldiers at the Death Camp to help the soldier process, in a unique way, the horror of what they have discovered. It is unforgettable.

Reviewed by JAM-31 5 / 10

Good personal story from Sam Fuller

This film is really about the experiences that Sam Fuller had during WWII. It is a bit dated, and the low budget really shows, but SF clearly did the best with what he had, and it stands as a great monument on war from a director who was really there.

All of the characters are very likeable, and well acted by Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, and company. The movie is fiction but influenced by real events. Many of the scenes, especially one involving a group of older sicilian women who cook a big meal for the squad, ring very true, since a fiction writer would obviously try and spice them up--the film is very honest, and it is good that Fuller left this story for us. I also like how it ends on a positive, optimistic note.

"The real glory of war is surviving."

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