Author Topic: Full Metal Jacket (1987)  (Read 263338 times)

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Offline N.E.P.

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Offline N.E.P.

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Re: Full Metal Jacket(1987)
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2010, 03:18:01 pm »

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 war film by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel The Short-Timers by Gustav Hasford. The title refers to the full metal jacket bullet type of ammunition used by infantry riflemen. The film follows a squad of U.S. Marines through their United States Marine Corps Recruit Training and depicts some of the experiences of two of them in the Tet Offensive (1968) during the Vietnam War.


The film opens as a group of new recruits in the United States Marine Corps arrive at Parris Island for recruit training. After having their heads shaved, they meet their drill instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey). Hartman verbally and physically abuses his troops with the intention of desensitizing and hardening them. With the Vietnam War in full swing, he has the task of producing trained warriors from this group. The audience is introduced to Pvt. Joker (Matthew Modine), a cynical but motivated marine; Pvt. Cowboy (Arliss Howard), Joker's bunkmate; and Pvt Pyle (Vincent D'Onofrio), who quickly becomes the target of much of Hartman's abuse due to being overweight and mentally handicapped.

Unresponsive to Hartman's continual negative reinforcement, Pyle is paired up with Joker who attempts to remediate Pyle. Thanks to Joker's patience and encouragement, Pyle begins to improve, but things derail when Hartman discovers a contraband jelly doughnut in Pyle's foot locker. Hartman begins to punish the platoon for Pyle's failings. As a result, the platoon hazes Pyle, pinning him to his bunk with a blanket and beating him with bars of soap wrapped in towels. Joker reluctantly joins in but then, out of frustration, beats Pyle several times. Cowboy warns Pyle that this is "all just a bad dream", and returns to his bunk as Pyle sobs in pain. Hearing his cries, Joker covers his ears, whether this is out of guilt or annoyance is left for the viewer to decide. Pyle is transformed by this event, becoming a model Marine and expert rifleman, but shows signs of mental breakdown including social withdrawal and talking to his M14 rifle.

After graduating, each recruit is assigned a Military Occupational Specialty, most being assigned to the Infantry, though Joker is assigned to Basic Military Journalism. On the platoon's last night on Parris Island, Joker draws fire watch, during which he discovers Pyle in the head loading his rifle with live ammunition. Frightened, Joker attempts to calm Pyle, but Pyle begins shouting, executing drill commands, and reciting the Rifleman's Creed. The noise awakens Hartman, who confronts Pyle demanding that he surrender. Pyle turns the rifle on him prompting Hartman to become verbally abusive. With a crazed smirk on his face, Pyle murders Hartman, and turns on Joker who asks him to "go easy". The visibly broken Pyle slumps onto a nearby commode, places the muzzle in his mouth and commits suicide as the shocked Joker looks on.

The film picks up in Vietnam in January, 1968. Joker has become a Sergeant and a Marine Combat Correspondent with Stars and Stripes, assigned to a Marine public-affairs unit along with "Rafterman" (Kevyn Major Howard), a combat photographer. Rafterman wants to go into combat, as Joker claims he has been, though one of his colleagues mocks Joker stating he knows Joker has never been in combat because he doesn't have the thousand-yard stare. Their argument is interrupted by sounds of nearby gunfire; the North Vietnamese Army has begun the Tet Offensive.

The next day, the staff learn about enemy attacks throughout South Vietnam. Lockhart assigns Joker to Phu Bai, a Marine forward operating-base near the ancient Vietnamese city of Huế, to cover the combat taking place in the area. Rafterman tags along, hoping to get some combat experience. When they land outside Huế, they meet up with the Lusthog Squad, where Cowboy is second-in-command. Joker accompanies the squad during the Battle of Huế, during which their commander is killed. Another Marine nicknamed Crazy Earl takes command of the squad.

A few days later the squad goes out on patrol again, this time north of the Perfume River which divides the city of Huế, where the Americans believe enemy forces have hidden. Crazy Earl comes across a toy rabbit in a ruined building and picks it up, triggering an explosive booby trap that kills him, leaving Cowboy as the reluctant squad leader. The squad becomes lost in the ruined buildings, and a sniper pins them down wounding two of their comrades. The sniper refrains from killing the wounded men with the apparent intention of drawing more of the squad into the killing zone. As the squad maneuvers to try to locate the hidden position, Cowboy is shot and killed as well.

With Cowboy dead, an M60 Machine gunner named Animal Mother (Adam Baldwin) assumes command of the remaining Marines. Using smoke grenades to conceal their advance, the squad locates the sniper. Joker finds the sniper on an upper floor, but his rifle jams as he tries to shoot. The sniper, a young girl, spins around, opening fire and pinning him behind a column. As he tries to draw his sidearm, Rafterman arrives and shoots the sniper, saving Joker. As Animal Mother and other Marines of the squad converge, she begins to repeat "shoot me," prompting an argument about whether to leave her to die from her wounds, or put her out of her misery. Animal Mother decides to allow a mercy killing only if Joker performs it. After some hesitation, Joker shoots her with his sidearm. The Marines congratulate him on his kill as Joker stares into the distance. The film concludes with the Marines marching toward their bivouac, singing the Mickey Mouse March. Joker tells the audience in voiceover that despite being "in a world of shit" that he is glad to be alive, and is unafraid.
[edit] Cast and characters

    * Matthew Modine as Private/Sergeant James T. "Joker" Davis, the protagonist-narrator who claims to have joined the Corps to see combat, and to become the first one on his block with a confirmed kill. He witnesses Pyle's insanity in boot camp, but nevertheless becomes a "squared away" Marine. He later serves as an independent-minded combat correspondent accompanying the Lusthog Squad in the field. Joker wears a peace-sign medallion on his uniform as well as writing "Born to Kill" on his helmet.
    * Vincent D'Onofrio as Private Leonard "Gomer Pyle" Lawrence: An overweight, clumsy, slow-witted recruit who becomes the focus of Hartman's attention for his incompetence and excess weight, making him the platoon scapegoat. After a blanket party from the rest of the platoon for failing almost everything and earning them collective punishments, he turns psychotic and talks to his rifle, "Charlene." He later shoots and kills D.I. Hartman while in the bathroom, and then himself in front of Joker. The humiliating nickname Gomer Pyle originates from a likable but dim character from the American television program The Andy Griffith Show who eventually enlists in the USMC.
    * R. Lee Ermey (credited as "Lee Ermey") as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: the stereotypical Parris Island drill instructor who trains his recruits to transform them into Marines. R. Lee Ermey actually was a U.S. Marine Drill Instructor during the Vietnam war. Much of his dialog in the movie was ad lib, based on this experience.
    * Arliss Howard as the Texan Private / Sergeant "Cowboy" Evans who goes through boot camp with Joker. He becomes a rifleman and later encounters Joker in Vietnam, taking command of a rifle squad. In Full Metal Jacket, he quickly dies of a sucking chest wound, while in Joker's arms and weakly saying "I can hack it...", surrounded by the few remaining members of his squad.
    * Adam Baldwin as Sergeant "Animal Mother": the nihilistic M-60 machine gunner of the Lusthog Squad, Animal Mother is contemptuous of any authority but his own, and attempts to rule by intimidation. Animal Mother believes victory should be the only object of war.
    * Dorian Harewood as Corporal "Eightball": The black member of the Lusthog Squad, insensitive about his ethnicity (e.g. 'Put a nigger behind the trigger'), and Animal Mother's closest friend. The sniper shoots him repeatedly in attempt to lure the others into the open, before killing him.
    * Kevyn Major Howard as Lance Corporal "Rafterman": Rafterman is a combat photographer with the Stars and Stripes office with Joker. He requests permission to accompany Joker into Hue^' and ultimately saves him by shooting the sniper, an act which gives him much pride and exhilaration. He seems to be a natural killer.
    * Ed O'Ross as Lieutenant Walter J. "Touchdown" Schinowski: The commander of the Lusthog Squad's platoon, he was a college football player at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He is killed in an ambush outside of Hue City.
    * John Terry as Lieutenant Lockhart: The PIO officer-in-chief and Joker's assignment editor. He has combat-reporting experience, but uses his officer rank to avoid returning to the field, he says on account of the danger and the bugs, rationalizing that his journalistic duties keep him where he belongs, "In the rear with the gear."
    * Kieron Jecchinis as Sergeant "Crazy Earl": The squad leader, he is forced to assume platoon command when Platoon Leader Lt. Touchdown is killed. Touching a booby-trapped toy kills him. As in the novel he carries a BB gun, which is visible just before he dies.
    * John Stafford as Doc Jay: A Navy corpsman attached to the Lusthog squad. Doc Jay mocks President Johnson when he is interviewed by documentary men in the film, Doc Jay quotes LBJ when he was Vice President expressing his intentions to avoid sending American soldiers to Vietnam. He is wounded by the sniper while attempting to drag Eightball to safety; the sniper uses a subsequent automatic burst to finish them both off when Doc Jay attempts to indicate the direction of the sniper.
    * Tim Colceri as the door-gunner, the Loadmaster and machine gunner of the H-34 Choctaw helicopter transporting Joker and Rafterman to the Tet Offensive front. Inflight, he shoots at civilians, while enthusiastically repeating "Get some!", boasting "157 dead Gooks killed, and 50 water buffaloes too." When Joker asks if that includes women and children, he admits it stating, "Sometimes." Joker then asks, "How can you shoot women and children?" to which the door-gunner replies jokingly, "Easy, you just don't lead 'em so much!...Ha, ha, ha, ha...Ain't war hell?!" This scene is adapted from Michael Herr's 1977 book Dispatches.
    * Papillon Soo Soo as Da Nang Hooker: An attractive and scantily-dressed prostitute who approaches Joker and Rafterman at a street corner during the first scene in Vietnam. She is memorable for the phrases "Me love you long time," "Me so horny" and "Me sucky sucky", which were later sampled by 2 Live Crew in their song, "Me So Horny" and in Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back".
    * Peter Edmund as Private "Snowball" Brown: African-American recruit, the butt of jibes from Hartman about "fried chicken and water melon", and famous for informing him that Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy from "that book suppository [sic] building, Sir!".

[edit] Production
[edit] Development

Stanley Kubrick contacted Michael Herr, author of the Vietnam War memoir Dispatches, in the spring of 1980 to discuss working on a film about the Holocaust but eventually discarded that in favor of a film about the Vietnam War.[1] They met in England and the director told him that he wanted to do a war film but he had yet to find a story to adapt.[2] Kubrick discovered Gustav Hasford's novel The Short-Timers while reading the Virginia Kirkus Review[3] and Herr received it in bound galleys and thought that it was a masterpiece.[2] In 1982, Kubrick read the novel twice and afterwards thought that it "was a unique, absolutely wonderful book" and decided, along with Herr,[1] that it would be the basis for his next film.[3] According to the filmmaker, he was drawn to the book's dialogue that was "almost poetic in its carved-out, stark quality."[3] In 1983, he began researching for this film, watching past footage and documentaries, reading Vietnamese newspapers on microfilm from the Library of Congress, and studied hundreds of photographs from the era.[4] Initially, Herr was not interested in revisiting his Vietnam War experiences and Kubrick spent three years persuading him in what the author describes as "a single phone call lasting three years, with interruptions."[1]

In 1985, Kubrick contacted Hasford to work on the screenplay with him and Herr,[2] often talking to Hasford on the phone three to four times a week for hours at a time.[5] Kubrick had already written a detailed treatment.[2] The two men got together at Kubrick's home every day, breaking down the treatment into scenes. From that, Herr wrote the first draft.[2] The filmmaker was worried that the title of the book would be misread by audiences as referring to people who only did half a day's work and changed it to Full Metal Jacket after discovering the phrase while going through a gun catalogue.[2] After the first draft was completed, Kubrick would phone in his orders and Hasford and Herr would mail in their submissions.[6] Kubrick would read and then edit them with the process starting over. Neither Hasford nor Herr knew how much they contributed to the screenplay and this led to a dispute over the final credits.[6] Hasford remembers, "We were like guys on an assembly line in the car factory. I was putting on one widget and Michael was putting on another widget and Stanley was the only one who knew that this was going to end up being a car."[6] Herr says that the director was not interested in making an anti-war film but that "he wanted to show what war is like."[1]

At some point, Kubrick wanted to meet Hasford in person but Herr advised against this, describing The Short-Timers author as a "scary man."[1] Kubrick insisted and they all met at Kubrick's house in England for dinner. It did not go well and Hasford was subsequently shut out of the production.[1]
[edit] Casting

Through Warner Brothers, Kubrick advertised a national search in the United States and Canada.[2] The director used video tape to audition actors. He received over 3,000 video tapes.[2] His staff screened all of the tapes and eliminated the unacceptable ones. This left 800 tapes for Kubrick to personally review.[2]

Former U.S. Marine Drill Instructor R. Lee Ermey was originally hired as a technical adviser and asked Kubrick if he could audition for the role of Hartman. However Kubrick, having seen his portrayal as Drill Instructor SSgt Loyce in The Boys in Company C, told him that he wasn't vicious enough to play the character.[2] In response, Ermey made a videotape of himself improvising insulting dialogue towards a group of Royal Marines while people off-camera pelted him with oranges and tennis balls. Ermey, in spite of the distractions, rattled off an unbroken string of insults for 15 minutes, and he did not flinch, duck, or repeat himself while the projectiles rained on him.[2] Upon viewing the video, Kubrick gave Ermey the role, realizing that he "was a genius for this part".[4] Ermey's experience as a real-life DI during the Vietnam era proved invaluable, and he fostered such realism that in one instance, Ermey barked an order off-camera to Kubrick to stand up when he was spoken to, and Kubrick instinctively obeyed, standing at attention before realizing what had happened. Kubrick estimated that Ermey came up with 150 pages of insults, many of them improvised on the spot — a rarity for a Kubrick film. According to Kubrick's estimate, the former drill instructor wrote 50% of his own dialogue, especially the insults.[7] Ermey usually needed only two to three takes per scene, another rarity for a Kubrick film.

The original plan envisaged Anthony Michael Hall starring as Private Joker, but after eight months of negotiations a deal between Stanley Kubrick and Hall fell through.[8]

Bruce Willis was offered[by whom?] a lead role but had to turn it down because of the impending start of filming on the first 6 episodes of Moonlighting.[9]
[edit] Principal photography

Kubrick shot the film in England: in Cambridgeshire, on the Norfolk Broads, and at the former Beckton Gas Works, Newham (East London). A former RAF and then British Army base, Bassingbourn Barracks, doubled as the Parris Island Marine boot camp.[4] A British Army rifle range near Barton, outside Cambridge was used in the scene where Private Pyle is congratulated on his shooting skills by R. Lee Ermey. The disused Beckton Gasworks portrayed the ruined city of Huế. Kubrick worked from still photographs of Huế taken in 1968 and found an area owned by British Gas that closely resembled it and was scheduled to be demolished.[7] To achieve this look, Kubrick had buildings blown up and the film's art director used a wrecking ball to knock specific holes in certain buildings over the course of two months.[7] Originally, Kubrick had a plastic replica jungle flown in from California but once he looked at it was reported to have said, "I don't like it. Get rid of it."[10] The open country is Cliffe marshes, also on the Thames, with 200 imported Spanish palm trees[3] and 100,000 plastic tropical plants from Hong Kong.[7]

Kubrick acquired four M41 tanks from a Belgian army colonel (a fan), Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw helicopters (actually Westland Wessex painted Marine green), and obtained a selection of rifles, M79 grenade launchers and M60 machine guns from a licensed weapons-dealer.[4]

Matthew Modine described the shoot as tough: he had to have his head shaved once a week and Ermey yelled at him for ten hours a day during the shooting of the Parris Island scenes.[11]

At one point during filming, Ermey had a car accident, broke all of his ribs on one side and was out for four-and-half months.[7] Cowboy's death scene shows a building in the background that resembles the famous alien monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick described the resemblance as an "extraordinary accident."[7]

During filming, Hasford contemplated legal action over the writing credit. Originally the film-makers intended Hasford to receive an "additional dialogue" credit, but he wanted full credit.[6] The writer took two friends and snuck onto the set dressed as extras only to be mistaken by a crew member for Herr.[5]

Kubrick's daughter Vivian - who appears uncredited as news-camera operator at the mass grave - shadowed the filming of Full Metal Jacket and shot eighteen hours of behind-the-scenes footage, snippets of which can be seen in the 2008 documentary Stanley Kubrick's Boxes.
[edit] Music

"Abigail Mead" (an alias for Kubrick's daughter Vivian) wrote a score for the film. According to an interview which appeared in the January 1988 issue of Keyboard Magazine, the film was scored mostly with a Fairlight CMI synthesizer (the then-current Series III edition), and the Synclavier. For the period music, Kubrick went through Billboard's list of Top 100 Hits for each year from 1962-1968 and tried many songs but "sometimes the dynamic range of the music was too great, and we couldn't work in dialogue."[7] The sequence that includes "Surfin Bird" was included in UGO's Top 11 Uses of Classic Rock in Cinema

    * Johnnie Wright - "Hello Vietnam"
    * The Dixie Cups - "Chapel of Love"
    * Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs - "Wooly Bully"
    * Chris Kenner - "I Like It Like That"
    * Nancy Sinatra - "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'"
    * The Trashmen - "Surfin' Bird"
    * The Goldman Band - "The Marines' Hymn"
    * The Rolling Stones - "Paint It, Black" (End Credits)

[edit] Reception

Full Metal Jacket received critical acclaim. Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader said it was "the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since Dr. Strangelove." Variety referred to the film as an "intense, schematic, superbly made" drama, while Vincent Canby of the New York Times called it "harrowing" and "beautiful." Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert had a dissenting view, stating the film was "strangely shapeless", giving it a a 2.5 stars, which is a "thumb's down" by Ebert's standards.[12] Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie a 96% rating.[13]

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing for an adapted screenplay. Ermey was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.

Full Metal Jacket ranks 457th on Empire magazine's 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time.[14]

In March 2008, the film became the first to receive a double-dipping on Blu-ray Disc.[15]
[edit] Interpretation

Compared to Kubrick's other works, the themes of Full Metal Jacket have received little speculation from critics and reviewers. With the exception of Rob Ager's lengthy video narration, The Hidden Hand,[16] reviews have mostly cited military brainwashing themes in the boot camp training section of the film, while citing the latter half of the film as more confusing and disjointed in content. Rita Kempley of the Washington post "it's as if they borrowed bits of every war movie to make this eclectic finale."[17] Roger Ebert explained "The movie disintegrates into a series of self-contained set pieces, none of them quite satisfying."[18] Ager interprets these aspects of the film as Kubrick's satirical critique of pro-war propaganda in Hollywood war movies.
[edit] Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

    * Nomination - Best Adapted Screenplay (Stanley Kubrick, Michael Herr, Gustav Hasford)

Awards of the Japanese Academy

    * Nomination - Best Foreign Language Film (Stanley Kubrick)

BAFTA Awards

    * Nomination - Best Sound (Nigel Galt, Edward Tise, Andy Nelson)
    * Nomination - Best Special Effects (John Evans)

Boston Society of Film Critics Awards

    * Won - Best Director (Stanley Kubrick)
    * Won - Best Supporting Actor (R. Lee Ermey)

David di Donatello Awards

    * Won - Best Producer - Foreign Film (Stanley Kubrick)

Golden Globes

    * Nomination - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (R. Lee Ermey)

Kinema Junpo Awards

    * Won - Best Foreign Language Film Director (Stanley Kubrick)

London Critics Circle Film Awards

    * Won - Director of the Year (Stanley Kubrick)

Writers Guild of America

    * Nomination - Best Adapted Screenplay (Stanley Kubrick, Michael Herr, Gustav Hasford)

Offline N.E.P.

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2010, 05:11:56 pm »

An in-depth analysis of
Stanley Kubrick’s


by Rob Ager June 2008

Full Metal Jacket Analysis Part 1:
Full Metal Jacket Analysis Part 2:
Full Metal Jacket Analysis Part 3:
Full Metal Jacket Analysis Part 4:
Full Metal Jacket Analysis Part 5:
Full Metal Jacket Analysis Part 6:
Full Metal Jacket Analysis Part 7:
Full Metal Jacket Analysis Part 8:

1) First Impressions

As a straight forward war movie Full Metal Jacket is immensely popular, yet artistically it’s one of Kubrick’s least understood films. There are several reasons for this. The mega box office and critical success of Oliver Stone’s Platoon preceded Full Metal Jacket’s release by almost a full year. Several inferior Vietnam war films were quickly being released in an attempt to cash in on Platoon’s success, and it was under these circumstances that Full Metal Jacket made it’s debut. Fortunately, Kubrick’s film had two obvious things to offer that Platoon lacked. The first was its hilarious dialogue, especially drill instructor Hartman’s rapid-fire insults, and second was its dynamic and varied action set pieces. It also lacked the obvious and well-trodden “horrors of war” emphasis and moral assertions usually associated with acclaimed war films (Platoon pulled this off well, but Apocalypse Now had already been there and back almost twenty years earlier). In fact Full Metal Jacket’s pacing and style are more akin to the highly commercial and entertaining WW2 action film The Dirty Dozen.

Although critics have not openly declared Full Metal Jacket to be a commercial film, they have treated it as such. While praising its technical composition and entertainment value, they have largely neglected to comment on the presence of any deeper meanings or even a lack of them. Any serious film fan knows that Kubrick was a genuine artist and so, based purely upon the director’s reputation, critics knew better than to openly write the film off as merely commercial.

The one aspect of Full Metal Jacket that has brought artistic praise is its no holds barred critique of military brainwashing. Again this was lacking in Oliver Stone’s Platoon and helped distance the two films from each other. The physical and emotional pummeling of the lovable Private Leonard Lawrence into a psychotic and suicidal wreck is thoroughly convincing and packs just as strong an emotional punch as any of Platoon’s themes. If the cadet training section of Full Metal Jacket had itself been fleshed out into a standalone movie then the critics would have applauded loudly and in unison.

Instead Kubrick shifts the story straight into the chaos of the Vietnam war, as if we had finished watching one film and then started another. The film maintains its humour, but drags us through a confusing narrative mess that is very entertaining, but seemingly absent of purpose. Joker’s final dilemma, in which he must find the strength to perform the mercy killing of a female NVA sniper, is strangely unsatisfying. It doesn’t seem to justify the rest of the war zone narrative.

This is not unusual in Kubrick’s work. Many of his films have stirred up controversy and negative emotion, while refusing to offer obvious moral condolence – A Clockwork Orange and Lolita being the most obvious examples. The key factor is that Kubrick didn’t make films to comfort his audience. His intention was to challenge us – to present us with philosophical puzzles and dilemmas. He challenges us to earn narrative condolences by flexing our mental muscles and thinking deeply about the film experience.

This is not to say that Kubrick did not know the answers to the puzzles in his own films. He knew the answers all too well and structured the narratives and aesthetics in accordance. Using complex unconscious symbols the answers were richly encoded into the films themselves. For example, the mysterious monolith of 2001 was a metaphoric cinema screen rotated ninety degrees, through which the films characters could leave the two dimensional confines of the film narrative and enter the three dimensional universe of their audience. In Eyes Wide Shut, the Sommerton mansion orgy was a dream-like repetition of the high society ballroom party at the film’s beginning, but this time stripped of all tinsel wrapped illusions.

These concepts were communicated in the finer details of these films in a way that is extremely difficult to identity consciously. Hence we are compelled to rewatch Kubrick’s work in the hope of unraveling these elusive meanings.

Full Metal Jacket is especially cryptic, even for a Kubrick film. And so in a similar vain to my previous analysis of Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut, The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey, I hope here to demonstrate that both the recruit training and war zone sections of Full Metal Jacket are far more multi-layered and rich in meaning than the vast majority of critics or film fans have ever suspected.

Many of the hidden themes we are about to explore are much more prominent in earlier versions of the screenplay. One of those versions from 1985 will be the script that is referenced in this analysis. In addition I must also add that, due to my limited knowledge of all things military and also my limited research on the Vietnam War, some of the details of this analysis may turn out to be easy to disprove. Feedback from more readers more knowledgeable in these subjects is welcome.

The Performance of Duty

Although Full Metal Jacket is usually described as having two halves – recruit training followed by Jokers tour of duty – the Vietnam section of the film is itself divided into discernable sections.

We are initially presented with a matter of fact run down of war propaganda practice. Joker sits in on routine editorial meetings for a military publication, in which the chief editor instructs his team to falsify reports in support of the war. The chief tells his team: “Ok, let’s keep it short and sweet”, while a banner above him states “FIRST TO GO LAST TO KNOW – we will defend to the death your right to be disinformed”. As it turns out, Joker’s prediction of a Tet ceasefire offensive is ignored because the chief hasn’t the time to hear of it.

In the 1985 version of the script Joker also meets up with a character named Captain January, who gives even more specific instructions about propaganda reporting than the chief editor. He tells Joker to get pictures of “civilians who have been executed with their hands tied behind their backs, people buried alive, priests with their throats cut, dead babies … don’t photograph any naked bodies unless they’ve been mutilated”.

Once Joker and Rafter hook up with 1st Platoon, the film literally becomes a propaganda presentation of war. Troops are falsely portrayed as macho and fearless. Their antics are backed by rock music and they actually appear to be enjoying their tour of duty. “These are great days we’re livin’ bro’s. We’re jolly green giants with guns.” Joker also narrated in the early section of the film that Marine training was: “An eight week college for the phony tough and the crazy brave”.

The first major battle scene is a gung-ho presentation of firepower and explosions. Marines are gunned down and die almost instantly, while Kubrick’s direction gives almost no attention to blood and guts or the suffering of injuries. Leiutenant Touchdown's death is strange. First he peaks behind him, which makes no sense unless he is looking to see who is watching him. He is directly behind a tank, yet is somehow hit by shrapnel from explosions in front of the tank. We see lens flashes across his back from the explosions. And look at how he falls to the ground. It's as if he has just play acted his own death. If you closely at the soldier who peaks around a corner only to be gunned down by enemy fire from a window, you'll notice that there are no bullet impacts in his body, no blood and he dies instantly.

After Crazy Earl kills two NVA, who also appear to die instantly, a piece of rock music kicks in again. Earl looks back to see if his heroic deed was witnessed by his buddies and, rather than giving a sigh of anxious relief that the battle is over, he smiles gleefully.

The shot now cuts so that we are watching a movie within a movie. Troops lay behind concrete rubble as if avoiding bullets, even though the three-man camera team who are filming them are walking out in the open without being shot at. The sound of tank machine guns and shells fired from turrets are only heard when the tanks are on screen. They appear to be firing on cue for the cameras.

What we’re watching is a parody of all those gung-ho war movies that show battlefields as a wild macho adrenaline ride. “Roll the cameras, this is Vietnam the movie!” The frequent dialogue references to John Wayne support this because Wayne starred in, co-produced and co-directed the Vietnam War propaganda film The Green Berets. The script even features a scene in which one hundred troops are sat in a cinema watching The Green Berets. Despite being a staunch supporter of the war, Wayne discredited himself by not enlisting for a tour of duty, while many other Hollywood stars did enlist. Wayne was also encouraged to run for presidential office due to his pro-war stance.

We next cut to the troops standing around two of their dead buddies, but again they are talking directly to the camera, which swivels back and forth between them, each character delivering his childish lines on cue … acting it up. The two corpses may be drenched in blood, but we never saw them suffer. This is starkly contrasted by the bloody slow deaths of Eightball and Doc Jay.

Then we cut to a sequence of ridiculous interviews, in which soldiers pose for the cameras and gloat over their Vietnam “experiences”. Cowboy has removed his glasses and smooths his hair like a movie star. He comments that “When we were in Hue, it was like a war … there’s the enemy. Kill ‘em.” But in virtually all of the battle scenes of FMJ the NVA troops are nowhere to be seen.

All of these gung-ho lies that the troops tell to the cameras, themselves and each other are reversed in the final section of the film, which begins after the groups encounter with a Vietnamese prostitute.

Cowboy’s claims about fighting the enemy up front are thrown back in his face because Crazy Earl is killed by a slyly placed booby trap, forcing Cowboy to take command of the squad. He then sees his men tortured by enemy sniper fire from an unknown location, but rather than take effective action he issues an order to abandon his dying buddies. So much for his sense of heroics. The slow, agonizing deaths and blood and guts reality expose Cowboy for the coward he is.

This illusion versus reality paradigm operates on many levels in FMJ. Virtually all of the lies and false fronts that make up the bulk of behaviour and dialogue in the film are at some point shown in reverse, with most of these reversals occurring in the sniper battle scene.

    * Cowboy insisted that Joker take his turn in beating Pyle’s chest with a block of soap slung in a towel. Cowboy’s own death later comes from a sniper bullet through his chest.

    * Pyle lay crying after the beating, at which point he became dead inside. And Cowboy lays crying in Joker’s arms as he dies.

    * The Chief Editor tells one of his journalists: “Rewrite it and give it a happy ending. Say uh … one kill”, but the killing of one sniper in the films climactic battle is far from a happy ending.

    * The Chief Editors request for blood trails and drag marks are also reflected in the ending, when Doc Jay tries to pull the wounded Eight-ball to safety.

    * In the first Lusthog battle Animal Mother launches a fearless machine gun attack from a corner despite having seen his buddy get shot just seconds before, but in the sniper battle he peeks slowly around a corner after being scared by the deaths of Doc Jay and Eightball.

    * The gung-ho dialogue when the Lusthogs were crouched behind rubble to the song Bird is the Word, changes to fear and frustration when they are hidden behind rubble and firing at empty buildings in search of a lone sniper.

    * The ultimate display of illusion smashed by reality has to be the graveside Colonel who tells Joker “Why don’t you jump on the team and come on in for the big win?” – yet, as we all know, America lost the Vietnam war.

There are many more examples of these inverse repetitions of scene elements. As we shall discover through out this analysis, these inverse paradigms often reveal new levels of depth in FMJ’s narrative.

Cowboys and Indians

The John Wayne dialogue of FMJ are also part of an overall wild west theme. Visually, this is most manifested during the marine interview montage and the prostitute gang bang scene. Both scenes show billboards of a western movie outside a Vietnamese cinema. In the shot of Joker being interviewed a cardboard Native American in full head dress can be seen near his right shoulder. When the squad are negotiating their price for the hooker, six shooter pistols can be seen painted above the entrance. Cowboy also asks the Vietnamese pimp: “How much chief?” and Eightball tells the hooker: “Let’s get mounted”.

As well as Cowboy’s nickname there are lots of other wild west references, usually embedded in the dialogue.

    * Joker’s first line: “Is that you John Wayne? Is this me?”

    * Cowboy’s interview: “There’s not one horse in Vietnam.”

    * Joker and Cowboy reunited: “Hey Lone Ranger”.

    * Joker in the barracks with his buddy journalists: “Don’t listen to any of payback’s bullshit. I bet sometimes he thinks he’s John Wayne.”

    * The lusthogs acting for the camera crew: “I’ll be General Custer … Who’ll be the Indians? … We’ll let the gooks play the Indians.”

    * In the 1985 FMJ script as Animal Mother runs to rescue Eightball and Doc Jay, Joker narrates that: “Animal thinks he’s John Wayne”.

It has also been commented by some reviewers that the female sniper resembles the character Wendy Torrance from Kubrick’s horror film The Shining, though the reasons for this resemblance have been obscure. Considering that in The Shining Wendy’s character subliminally represented a Native American (see The Shining review) her resemblance to the sniper in FMJ fits perfectly with the Cowboys and Indians theme. In the squads warped view of themselves as gun-slinging cowboys the sniper represents their Native American opponent just waiting to be gunned down in a blaze of glory.

The Cowboys and Indians theme also symbolizes the child-like fantasy world of the Lusthog squad. Crazy Earl carries a Red Ryder B B Gun in his backpack. This toy gun was also specifically described in the 1985 version of the FMJ script. A very important variation in that same script is that Joker is gunned to death at the end of the story, and the editing is described as being intercut with shots of Joker as an eight year old child running with a toy rifle and faking his own death. As a typical social commentary by Kubrick, this was probably touching upon the notion that military brainwashing doesn’t just occur in training. It is present in the very toys that children are given to play with.

Equally Worthless

“I am hard, but I am fair. There is no racial bigotry here. I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers. Here you are all equally worthless.” Or at least that’s what Gunnery Sergeant Hartman tells his recruits. Of course this isn’t the case. He immediately follows this piece of dialogue by telling a black recruit, who he nicknames Private Snowball: “Well, there’s one thing you won’t like. We don’t serve fried chicken and watermelon in my mess hall on a daily basis.”

Hartman then proceeds throughout the entire training to harass the overweight Private Pyle with a great deal more vigour than he does any of the other recruits. Though it can be argued that this special attention was due to Pyle’s lack of ability, Hartman’s special disliking is very obvious in one particular line up of the men. He calmly instructs Cowboy and then Joker: “That is not your Daddy’s shotgun … Put the rifle around your head, not your head around the rifle”, but then screams at Pyle for a mistake that was no worse by comparison: “FOUR INCHES FROM YOUR CHEST PYLE! FOUR INCHES!” Also, when Hartman discovers Pyle’s footlocker has been left unlocked he barks a ridiculous line: “If there is one thing I hate it is an unlocked footlocker!” The one thing he hates deep down is Pyle himself.

In the script Hartman tells the recruits to urinate into the same toilet bowl and then half drowns Pyle in the groups urine. Also in the early script, Hartman makes several derogatory statements about Jews and Atheists.

This discriminatory attitude carries over into the tour of duty scenes. Animal makes two harshly racist comments toward his black fellow trooper, Eightball: “Hey jungle bunny. Thank God for the sickle cell huh.” And: “All f**king niggers must f**king hang.” Another racist comment, which in the script was spoken by Animal Mother to Eightball, takes place in the journalists barracks after Payback’s waffle about the thousand yard stare: “How do you stop five black guys from raping a white chick? … Throw ‘em a basket ball”.

Of course these racist attitudes would no doubt affect the occupying forces attitudes both to their enemy and the population they were supposedly defending.

Women and Children

The most significant hidden theme that I have found through reading other reviews of FMJ is the destruction of innocence and femininity as a central aspect of military training.

Feelings such as love, intimacy, empathy, curiosity and trust can be considered innocent or feminine qualities, but they are also major obstacles to the goal of turning young men into willing and obedient killers, and so must be brutally repressed in preparation for the battlefield.

The destruction of these aspects of the self is played out in FMJ first as the elimination of the child, represented by Private Pyle, and then in the destruction of the female, represented by the prostitutes and the sniper.

There are many details depicting Pyle as the symbolic infant child, who Hartman is trying to stomp out of his trainees.

    * Hartman’s first question to Pyle is: “Did your parents have any children that lived?”

    * He is made to walk behind the platoon, sucking his thumb with his trousers around his ankles.

    * The second time he is shown sucking his thumb, he is sat on an oversized table, while the platoon perform exercizes.

    * When Joker is given the task of training Pyle, Hartman spouts: “He’ll teach you everything. He’ll teach you how to pee”. Joker then teaches Pyle skills that are learned in childhood such as how to tie his shoe laces and make his bed. He even tells him: “Tuck your shirt in”.

    * Pyle has a baby-fat physique, a chubby face and a habit of grinning.

    * After the soap beating Pyle cries in the dark like a baby.

    * In addition to Pyle representing the infant, Hartman tells Cowboy: “That is not your daddy’s shotgun.”

In the 1985 version of the script are a variety of additional child metaphors.

    * When asked by Hartman why he joined the marines Pyle replies: “Sir, to become a man, sir.”

    * Hartman fits a condom over a canteen of milk for Pyle to drink from.

A key factor indicating that Pyle has the mentality of an infant is his confusion over left and right.

    * Hartman smacks him left and right for putting his gun on the wrong shoulder.

    * As Joker teaches him how to tie his laces: “Left one over the right. Right one over the left.” The two cadets are sitting at the wrong end of the barracks as if their bunks had moved to the other side of the screen.

    * During target practice Pyle is seen wearing a white wrist band on one arm, but when the shot cuts to an over-the-shoulder view of him firing at the targets the wrist band has swapped over to the other arm.

    * In virtually all of the marching shots another platoon of recruits are seen in the distance, marching in an opposite direction.

    * And when Joker is instructing Pyle how to move his rifle over to his right shoulder Hartman can be seen and heard in the distance shouting to his troops: “Your left shoulder!”

Eventually Pyle overcomes his left / right confusion, at which point the platoon are shown marching as the camera angle pans across their path from left to right, indicating the perceptual shift.

Everything seems to be going much better for Pyle until the jelly donut incident. As a result the child is brutally beaten out of him by the other recruits, which leaves him as a cold psychopath.

The references to children is a strange paradigm because, as well as trying to destroy the child within, the platoon also act like children. These themes continue into the Vietnam sections of the movie, where they become synonymous with the destruction of femininity.

    * The first hooker in the story tells Joker: “Hey baby, me so horny”, and in negotiating a price Joker replies: “Five dollars is all my momma allows me to spend.”

    * Cowboy gloats at the second hooker as she steps off the motorbike: “Hello little school girl. I’m a little school boy too”.

    * And Animal gives a slight hesitation in describing the enemy during his interview: “They send us in first, the squad. Make sure there’s no uh … no little uh … (smirking) … no Vietnamese waiting with B-40 rockets to blow the tanks away.”

In the script a story is told of Animal chasing a 12 to 13 year old girl through the streets “with his dick hanging out”, at which point he says: “If she’s old enough to bleed she’s old enough to butcher.” He then tells a story to his friends of shooting a young girl in the face. Another marine is described as playing with a yo-yo and both the dead NVA soldier sat next to Crazy Earl and the dying sniper are described as being “not more than 17 years old”. Also in the script, after the first major fire fight, the platoon encounter a small child in the building they have just raided. The child tries to attack them with hands and fists.

The destruction of the feminine takes a slightly different course in the film. Hartman doesn’t directly attack this aspect of the platoons minds, but he instead gives the men the motivation with which to begin attacking it within themselves. He does this by constantly challenging their sense of masculinity. With systematic regularity he calls the recruits ladies or sweethearts and tells them: “Sound off like you got a pair”. In the script Pyle is also told by Hartman: “With those tits on you you belong in Playboy.”

Hartman also challenges their sexuality, especially in the first dialogue scene. To Cowboy: “Only steers and queers come from Texas …” and to Pyle: “Do you suck dicks?”

The irony of all this is that Hartman intentionally places Joker in the mothering role, so as to nurture Pyle’s soldiering abilities. This was working fine until Hartman spoiled it by punishing the entire platoon for each of Pyle’s mistakes. Later, in the toilet, Hartman screams at the broken down and psychotic Pyle: “Didn’t mommy and daddy give you enough attention when you were a child?” – again implying Joker’s mothering role.

All these challenges to masculinity strongly affect the troops once they are unleashed in the war zone. They go to great lengths to constantly prove their manhood to their buddies.

The crazy helicopter gunner takes a pause in his shooting spree after saying: "I got you Mother".

Joker is told to take the inexperienced Rafterman on a dangerous assignment and so finds himself in the mothering role again. Incidentally, in the script Rafterman is described by Joker as being “like a kid.”

The child-like Rafterman is deperate to prove his manhood: “A high school girl could do my job … I want to get out into the shit. I wanna get some trigger time.” Rafterman seems impressed by the masculine posing of the lusthog squad, who claim to be “Life takers and heart breakers”. After shooting the sniper in gung-ho fashion, he is over the moon with himself: “Am I a life taker? Am I a heartbreaker?” He has destroyed the feminine and proven his masculinity. The evil grin on his face as he awaits Joker’s mercy execution of the sniper says it all. He even gives a psychotic laugh after Joker pulls the trigger.

continued at

Offline 37

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2010, 05:53:44 pm »

Pure genius...

The second half of Full Metal Jacket, the part in Vietnam, was based on Michael Herr's book, Dispatches

This is one of my favorite books...period.

"Vietnam was what we had instead of happy childhoods."

"Whatever it is, I am against it."  -Groucho Marx

Channel 37

Offline Freeski

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2010, 06:02:14 pm »
Wow! Thanks man!

I loved this movie when I first saw it. The drill sergeant is spectacular!
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline Tsul777

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2010, 06:04:46 pm »
Wow! Thanks man!

I loved this movie when I first saw it. The drill sergeant is spectacular!

Ditto!! Never fails to crack me up. Always reminds me of my days at Cornwallis!

Offline centexan

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2010, 07:05:21 pm »

That's a link to the script for Full Metal Jacket.  I found screenplays for all the movies on the Kubrick forum and will post them, but I'm not sure if they're shooting scripts or post-production scripts.  Shooting scripts can be very different from the finished movie, after edits are made.

The formatting on this play's a little screwed up.  Screenplays center the dialogue in a narrow column (to make it easy for the actors to scan it in rehearsal), and the text runs margin to margin.

If you're not interrupted, it takes about the same length of time to read a screenplay as it does to watch the movie onscreen.

Offline Freeski

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2010, 07:10:16 pm »

That's a link to the script for Full Metal Jacket.  I found screenplays for all the movies on the Kubrick forum and will post them, but I'm not sure if they're shooting scripts or post-production scripts.  Shooting scripts can be very different from the finished movie, after edits are made.

The formatting on this play's a little screwed up.  Screenplays center the dialogue in a narrow column (to make it easy for the actors to scan it in rehearsal), and the text runs margin to margin.

If you're not interrupted, it takes about the same length of time to read a screenplay as it does to watch the movie onscreen.

Cool! I took a screenwriting course way back! I believe it was one page one minute, and you HAVE to hook the audience by the tenth page? Pure formula.
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline centexan

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2010, 07:45:31 pm »
Yeah, a page a minute.  Most dramas are 120 pages, most comedies 90-100 pages.  That's when the writer and the director are different people.  Some directors who write their own stories work with ten-page scripts and then make up the rest.  Looks like proper length wasn't an issue with Kubrick.  Strangelove is only 55 pages.

I prefer to read screenplays to novels now, because they don't take as long.  Saves visual abuse too.  I'm reading Avatar now and won't get the 3-D headache.

Offline N.E.P.

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2010, 01:32:08 pm »

Offline jack dempsey

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2010, 05:44:18 am »
What most people remember about this film is the drill sergeant.Incredible performance and funny in a twisted kinda way.Sort of thing your average meat-head would love.Watched the film recentlly and it's a devastating analysis of the techniques used by the millitary to de-humanise new recruits.Its not an easy watch-cold,emotionless and  brutally realistic.The way the recruits are encouraged to develope an almost sexual relationship with their rifle is especially disturbing.And one of the most gut-wrenching climaxes ever-this is not likely to have anyone running to sign up for the army.

Offline Djævlen

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2010, 05:32:05 pm »
awesome film. this was the first Kubrick film i was able to see at the movies - i actually went on a date to see this.  ;D
“The devil is only a convenient myth invented by the real malefactors of our world”

-R.A. Wilson

Offline weaving spider

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2010, 08:12:43 pm »
The cool thing is R.Lee Ermey was a real drill instructor. Who else could pull off that character? Ya gotta love Gunny. I like watching his show on tv as well. Sometimes I use his line "Choke yourself" while holding my hand up, kidding around at work.

Offline N.E.P.

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2010, 12:39:20 pm »
Full Metal Jacket Rifle Range

HARTMAN: The deadliest weapon in the world is a marine and his rifle. It is your killer instinct which must be harnessed if you expect to survive in combat. Your rifle is only a tool. It is a hard heart that kills. If your killer instincts are not clean and strong you will hesitate at the moment of truth. You will not kill. You will become dead marines. And then you will be in a world of shit. Because marines are not allowed to die without permission! Do you maggots understand?

RECRUITS: Sir, yes, sir!

HARTMAN: Do any of you people know who Charles Whitman was? None of you dumbasses knows? Private Cowboy?

COWBOY: Sir, he was that guy who shot all those people from that tower in Austin, Texas, sir!

HARTMAN: That's affirmative. Charles Whitman killed twelve people from a twenty-eight-storey observation tower at the University of Texas from distances up to four hundred yards. Anybody know who Lee Harvey Oswald was? Private Snowball?

SNOWBALL: Sir, he shot Kennedy, sir!

HARTMAN: That's right, and do you know how far away he was?

SNOWBALL: Sir, it was pretty far! From that book suppository building, sir!

HARTMAN: All right, knock it off! Two hundred and fifty feet! He was two hundred and fifty feet away and shooting at a moving target. Oswald got off three rounds with an old Italian bolt action rifle in only six seconds and scored two hits, including a head shot! Do any of you people know where these individuals learned to shoot? Private Joker?

JOKER: Sir, in the Marines, sir!

HARTMAN: In the Marines! Outstanding! Those individuals showed what one motivated marine and his rifle can do! And before you ladies leave my island, you will be able to do the same thing!
Charles Joseph Whitman (June 24, 1941 – August 1, 1966), a student at the University of Texas at Austin, killed 14 people and wounded 32 others during a shooting rampage on and around the university's campus. Three were killed inside the University's tower and ten killed from the 28th floor observation deck of the University's 307 foot administrative building on August 1, 1966; one died a week later from her wounds. The tower massacre happened shortly after Whitman murdered his wife and mother at their homes. He was shot and killed by Austin Police Officer Houston McCoy,[1] assisted by Austin Police Officer Ramiro Martinez.

The incident was the deadliest university shooting in United States history until the Virginia Tech massacre of 2007, when Seung Hui Cho killed 32 people.


* Joseph M. Acaba[1] — NASA astronaut
    * Don Adams[2][3] — Emmy Award-winning actor (Get Smart)
    * Eddie Adams[4] — Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer
    * Sandy Alderson[5] — General Manager of the San Diego Padres
    * Andrew M. Allen[6] — NASA astronaut
    * Mike Anderson[7] — NFL football player
    * Walter Anderson (editor)[8] — author; PARADE  editor; Parade Publications CEO; GED spokesperson
    * Paul Arizin[9] — NBA basketball player

    * F. Lee Bailey[10] — lawyer, notable for his involvement in cases relating to the My Lai Massacre and the O.J. Simpson trial
    * Dusty Baker[11] — Major League Baseball manager, second only to John McGraw in managerial wins for the San Francisco Giants
    * James Baker[12] — former U.S. Secretary of State, elder statesman, advisor and friend of the Bush family
    * Leslie M. "Bud" Baker, Jr.[13] — Chairman of the Board of Wachovia Bank
    * Greg Ballard[14]— Mayor of Indianapolis
    * Nick Barone[15] — boxer (1950s), the "Fighting Marine"
    * Thomas D. Barr[16] — attorney with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, "father of modern big-case litigation"
    * James Lee Barrett[17] — Tony Award-winning writer (Shenandoah)
    * Carmen Basilio[18] — world champion boxer, Boxing Hall of Famer
    * Hank Bauer[19] — professional baseball player
    * John Beckett[20] — college football star and coach
    * Bob Bell — Bozo the Clown (TV)
    * Glen Bell — Founder of Taco Bell fast food chain[21]
    * Terrel Bell[22] — U.S. Secretary of Education (1981–1984) during the Reagan administration
    * Donald Bellisario[23] — Television producer and screenwriter of the television shows Magnum, P.I., JAG, and NCIS.
    * Henry Bellmon[24] — Governor of Oklahoma, U.S. Senator (OK-R)
    * John Besh[25][26] — noted chef and restaurant owner
    * Patty Berg[27] — LPGA golfer
    * Rod Bernard[28] — swamp pop musician
    * Charles F. Bolden, Jr.[29] — NASA space shuttle commander
    * Robert Bork[30] — retired federal judge, law professor and Supreme court nominee
    * Blackbear Bosin[31] — artist
    * Hugh Brannum[32] — "Mr. Green Jeans" on Captain Kangaroo
    * Donald Bren[33] — CEO The Irvine Company
    * Daniel B. Brewster[34] — U.S. Senator from Maryland
    * Art Buchwald[32][35] — humor columnist
    * Dale Bumpers[36] — Governor of Arkansas, U.S. Senator from Arkansas
    * Conrad Burns[37] — U.S. Senator from Montana

    * Robert D. Cabana[38] — NASA space shuttle astronaut; director of Stennis & Kennedy Space Centers
    * Enrique Camarena[39] — Mexican-American DEA agent murdered in 1985
    * Philip Caputo[40] — author, journalist
    * Rod Carew[41] — baseball Hall of Famer
    * Drew Carey[2][42] — comedian, actor, host of The Price Is Right (2007–Present)
    * Gerald P. Carr[43] — NASA astronaut
    * James Carville[2][44] — political strategist and manager
    * Francis H. Case[45] – represented South Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives (1937–1950) and the U.S. Senate (1951–1962)
    * Ronald D. Castille[46] – Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    * John Chafee[47] — Governor of Rhode Island, Secretary of the Navy, U. S. Senator (RI-R)
    * Roberto Clemente[19] — baseball Hall of Famer
    * Mike Coffman[48] — U.S. Congressman representing Colorado
    * Eddie Collins[49] — baseball Hall of Famer
    * Jerry Coleman[50] — baseball player, announcer
    * Charles Colson[51] — White House special counsel, Nixon staffer (Watergate), evangelist
    * Courtney Ryley Cooper[52] — writer
    * Charlie Conerly[53] — Pro football player and College Football Hall of Fame inductee
    * Barry Corbin [54] — actor (WarGames)
    * Jon Corzine[55] — Governor of New Jersey, former U.S. Senator (D-NJ)
    * Bill Cowan[56] — hostage rescue expert, Fox News television commentator
    * Josh Culbreath[19] — 1956 Summer Olympics 400m hurdles bronze medalist, college track coach with 10 national championships, actor on the Cosby Show
    * Walter Cunningham[57] — Apollo 7 astronaut

    * Brian Dennehy[2][58]— actor (First Blood)
    * James Devereux[59] — U.S. Congressman from Maryland
    * Richard Diebenkorn[60] — artist
    * Bradford Dillman[61]— actor (Compulsion)
    * David Dinkins[32] — Mayor of New York City
    * Art Donovan[62] — football Hall of Famer
    * Buster Drayton[63] — world champion boxer
    * Andre Dubus[64]— author
    * David Douglas Duncan[65] — photographer
    * Dale Dye[2][66][67] — Hollywood military advisor

    * William A. Eddy[68] — World War I Navy Cross, university professor and president, World War II Marine Corps intelligence officer, U.S. minister to Saudi Arabia (1943–1946)
    * David Eigenberg[2] — actor (Sex and the City)
    * R. Lee Ermey[69]— actor (Full Metal Jacket), host of Mail Call and Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey
    * Don Everly[32] — musician, member of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
    * Phil Everly[32] — musician, member of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

    * Hussein Mohamed Farrah[70] — son and successor of Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid
    * Mike Farrell[2] — actor (M*A*S*H)
    * Freddie Fender[71] — Tejano music recording artist
    * Bob Ferguson[72] — song writer, record producer, and historian

Glenn Ford

    * Jesse Ferguson[73] — American heavyweight boxer
    * Nathaniel Fick[74] — author (One Bullet Away)
    * Morris Fisher[75]— five time Olympic Gold Medalist for shooting
    * Bill Fitch[76] — basketball coach
    * Shelby Foote[77] — author, American Civil War historian
    * Glenn Ford[2][78] — actor (Gilda)
    * Joe Foss[79] — former Governor of South Dakota, first Commissioner of the AFL, former NRA President
    * Orville Freeman[80]— 29th Governor of Minnesota
    * Hayden Fry[81]— football coach, University of Iowa
    * Mark Fuhrman[82]— LAPD detective who became famous during the O.J. Simpson trial

    * Bill Gallo[83] — cartoonist, journalist
    * Christopher George[2] — actor (The Rat Patrol)
    * Merlin German[84] — "Miracle Marine", founder of Merlin's Miracles
    * Wayne Gilchrest[85] — Republican U.S. Representative from Maryland
    * John Glenn[86] — astronaut, first American to orbit Earth, oldest man in space, U.S. Senator
    * Scott Glenn[87] — actor (The Right Stuff)
    * Josh Gracin[88] — country singer and American Idol contestant
    * Clu Gulager[89] — actor (The Return of the Living Dead)

    * Gene Hackman[2][32] — Academy Award-winning actor (The French Connection)
    * Fred Haise[90] — NASA astronaut (Apollo 13 & Space Shuttle Enterprise)
    * Nathaniel Dawayne "Nate Dogg" Hale — rapper
    * Ahmard Hall[91] — NFL football player
    * Hugh W. Hardy[92][93] — pioneer of the 3D seismic method
    * Gustav Hasford — author of The Short-Timers, the Vietnam war novel & basis of movie Full Metal Jacket
    * Sterling Hayden[32][94] — actor (Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)
    * Louis Hayward[95][96] — actor (The Saint in New York)
    * Howell Heflin[97] — U.S. Senator from Alabama
    * George Roy Hill[98]— Academy Award-winning director of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting
    * Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch[50] — football Hall of Famer
    * Gil Hodges[32] — professional baseball player
    * Duncan D. Hunter[99] — U.S. Congressman from California
    * Douglas Hurley[100] — NASA astronaut

    * Mike Ilitch[101] — founder of Little Caesars Pizza, owner of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings
    * Paul Romanovsky Ilyinsky[102] — Mayor of Palm Beach Florida
    * Don Imus[103]— Radio talk show host

    * Keith Jackson[104] — sportscaster
    * Brian Gerard James[2] — TNA professional wrestler
    * Bill Janklow[105] — Governor of South Dakota, U.S. Congressman (R-SD)
    * Jamey Johnson[106] — country music artist
    * Howard Johnson[107][108] — American football player for the Green Bay Packers
    * George Jones[109] — country music artist
    * James L. Jones[110] — current National Security Advisor in the Obama Administration

    * Bob Keeshan[2][32] — Captain Kangaroo, original Clarabell the Clown on Howdy Doody
    * Harvey Keitel[2] — actor (Reservoir Dogs)
    * Brian Keith[32] — actor (The Parent Trap)
    * Greg Kelly[111] — Fox News broadcast journalist, news reporter
    * Raymond W. Kelly[112] — police commissioner of the City of New York
    * Skip Kenney[113] — U.S. Men's Olympic Swim Coach, Head Swim Coach at Stanford University
    * Robert Kiyosaki[114] — motivational speaker,author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad
    * Ron Kovic[115]— author (Born on the Fourth of July)
    * Ted Kulongoski[116] — Governor of Oregon

    * Mills Lane[2][117] — boxing referee and TV's People's Court judge
    * Eddie LeBaron[19] — professional football player
    * Jim Lehrer[2][118] — journalist, host of the PBS' NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
    * Alfred Lerner[119]— financier, Chairman of MBNA Corporation
    * Joe Lisi[120] — actor (Third Watch), retired NYPD Captain
    * Clayton J. Lonetree[121]— spied for Russia in the mid-1980s
    * Tommy Loughran[122] — world boxing champion
    * Jack R. Lousma[123] — NASA Astronaut
    * Robert A. Lutz[124] — Vice Chairman of Global Product Development at General Motors Corporation
    * Robert Ludlum[125] — author (The Bourne Identity)

    * William Manchester[126] — author and historian
    * Mike Mansfield[127] — U.S. Representative and Senator, Senate Majority Leader, U.S. Ambassador to Japan; co-author of the Douglas-Mansfield Bill (1951) supporting the Marine Corps
    * Lee Marvin[2][32] — Academy Award-winning actor (Cat Ballou)
    * Bob Mathias[32][128] — two-time Olympic champion in the decathlon — U.S. Congressman (California-R)
    * Hugh McColl[129][130] — Former chairman and CEO of Bank of America
    * Pete McCloskey[131]— U.S. Congressman (California-R)
    * Robert C. McFarlane[132] — National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan; known for his role in Iran-Contra
    * Tug McGraw[133] Major league relief pitcher and two time World Series winner
    * Paul F. McHale, Jr.[134] — U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania (D), Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense
    * Ed McMahon[2] — television personality
    * Sid McMath[135]— Governor of Arkansas
    * Steve McQueen[2][32] — actor (Bullitt)
    * Donald E. McQuinn[136][137] — Author of military and science fiction
    * Zell Miller[138]— Governor of Georgia, U.S. Senator (Georgia-D)
    * Billy Mills[139] — Olympic gold medalist (1964), 10,000m run
    * Tom Monaghan[140] — founder of Domino's Pizza
    * Elizabeth Moon[141]— Award winning fantasy and science fiction author
    * Alvy Moore[142] — actor (Green Acres)
    * Paul Moore, Jr.[32][143] — 13th Bishop of New York
    * Jim E. Mora[144]— NFL head football coach
    * Robert S. Mueller III[145] — current director of the FBI
    * Jimmy Murray[146] — former GM of Philadelphia Eagles and co-founder of Ronald McDonald House charities
    * John Murtha[147] — U.S. Representative (D - PA)
    * Franklin Story Musgrave[148] — NASA astronaut
    * Anton Myrer[149] — author (Once an Eagle)

Marine goes on shooting spree,4360521

Marine Brothers Arrested After Shooting Spree

SAN ANTONIO --  Two active duty marines were arrested after police say they went on a shooting spree outside a local nightclub.

Marine expelled over YouTube puppy video
Second Marine punished for clip showing dog thrown off cliff in Iraq

HONOLULU - The Marine Corps said Wednesday it was expelling one Marine and disciplining another for their roles in a video showing a Marine throwing a puppy off a cliff while on patrol in Iraq.

Fight over urinating dog got police to ambush

Cops say gunman had gotten into an argument with his mother
PITTSBURGH - An emergency call that brought two city police officers to a home where they were ambushed, and where a third was later killed during a four-hour siege, was precipitated by a fight between the alleged gunman and his mother over a dog urinating in the house.

Offline N.E.P.

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2010, 09:22:24 am »

Strange coincidence regarding yesterdays events. The difference being that the Whitman event was not staged or provocateured. Stack also didn't kill his family although he burned his house down.

Offline 37

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2010, 10:57:08 am »

"'Don't you men salute officers?'

'We're not men,' Page said.  "We're correspondents'

When the commander heard that, he wanted to throw a spontaneous operation for us, crank up his whole brigade and get some people killed.  We had to get out on the next chopper to keep him from going ahead with it, amazing what some of them would do for a little ink.  Page liked to augment his field gear with freak paraphernalia, scarves and beads, plus he was English, guys would stare at him like he'd just come down off a wall on Mars.  Sean Flynn could look more incredibly beautiful than even his father, Errol, had thirty years before as Captain Blood, but sometimes he looked like Artaud coming out of some heavy heart-of-darkness trip, overloaded on the information, the input!  The input!  He'd give off a bad sweat and sit for hours, combing his mustache through with the saw blade of his Swiss Army knife.  We packed grass and tape:  Have You Seen Your Mother Baby Standing in the Shadows, Best of the Animals, Strange Days, Purple Haze, Archie Bell and the Drells, "C'mon everybody do the Tighten Up..."  Once in a while we'd catch a chopper into one of the lower hells, but it was a quiet time in the war, mostly it was lz's and camps, grunts hanging around, faces, stories.

'Best way's to just keep moving,' one of them told us.  'Just keep moving, stay in motion, you know what I'm saying?'

We knew.  He was a moving-target-survivor subscriber, a true child of the war..."  

Great book about the real men who fought the war...not officers.  

Told by the kind of guy you'd love to sit and drink beers with.

Michael Herr also wrote a book about Kubrick...

"Stanley Kubrick was a friend of mine, insofar as people like Stanley have friends, and as if there are any people like Stanley now..."
"Whatever it is, I am against it."  -Groucho Marx

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Offline shy69iskrazy

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2010, 01:11:24 pm »
"Blood makes the grass grow green!"  


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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2010, 01:48:07 pm »
Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
By Rev. Martin Luther King
4 April 1967

Excerpt from 20mins 29 secs in>>

"So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one Vietcong-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers."

Offline Juntawatch

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2010, 05:09:24 pm »
In Post #2 of 31st January, by 'N.E.P' we read:

Women and Children

'The most significant hidden theme that I have found through reading other reviews of FMJ is the destruction of innocence and femininity as a central aspect of military training.

Feelings such as love, intimacy, empathy, curiosity and trust can be considered innocent or feminine qualities, but they are also major obstacles to the goal of turning young men into willing and obedient killers, and so must be brutally repressed in preparation for the battlefield.

The destruction of these aspects of the self is played out in FMJ first as the elimination of the child, represented by Private Pyle, and then in the destruction of the female, represented by the prostitutes and the sniper.'

I have some different takes

The killing of the young female VC sniper (in the framed East London Docklands set) is hardly an example of brutality on the part of the marines. Exactly the opposite IMO. The shoot-out leading up to it, speaks about the anonymity of bullet driven warfare. Indeed, 7.62mm FMJ stock, that are irrisistible by anybody. Perhaps Kubrick was saying something about modern, anonymous, distant, killing by unrelenting, all conquering bullets. **

Firstly they don't know of the snipers singular nature and gender before they shoot her. Joker only puts her out of her misery reluctantly and even with Animal Mother's taunting "I say we leave her to rot and for the rats" & "Go on Joker, WASTE HER", but Joker rebukes him and does it as a last resort. He twists and contorts his face trying to pull his trigger.

Now here's the thing. This lone teen or twenties something is symbolic to a lot of us of a damage done era, you know, young girls and all that. The killer, that wastes her with his M16, rather clownishly later gets to tone in with "I'm a mean life-taker and a cold heart-breaker ... whooo" but really doesn't seem to want to believe his bravado himself, if you listen to his quavering and fragile voice.

This girl has wasted three of their colleages terribly, 8-Ball, Doc and Cowboy, but instead of seeking vengeance most terrible on this very young woman, and her sole duty and purpose, they stand around overlooking the victim almost pondering the significance of the gruesome fact they have killed a female, despite the fact she was a HIGHLY DEADLY enemy combattant, well a VC sniper anyway.

The sound track is that awesome drone synth and metal thump sound, conjuring up the symbolically sinister and just plain evil of the situation, — the killing gone beyond all reason.
It's a great movie, and like all of Kubrick's works, is as much real as surreal.

**(There is a theme in the culture of that era. In 'Us and Them', Pink Floyd sang about 'for want of the price of tea and a slice, the old man died', which is actually concerning the price of a bullet. The 'Old man' was literally Roger Waters dad who died in a WW2 Trench, when he ran out of bullets.)

FMJ is one of my old time favourites and this topic is a great idea.

"The Dog has returned to its own vomit, and the sow that was bathed to rolling in the mire."
2 Peter, 2:2.

'The Intellectual, the Plebitian & the Proletariat could be treated; just as wasps are treated.'
- Sanctimonious III. 1st Century.


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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2010, 11:11:15 pm »

Rafterman: At least they died for a good cause.

Animal Mother: What cause was that?

Rafterman: Freedom?

Flush out your headgear, new guy. You think we waste gooks for freedom? This is a slaughter. If I'm gonna get my balls blown off for a word, my word is 'poontang'.


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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2010, 11:12:17 pm »
Almost forgot..."Tough break for Hand Job." ;D

Offline 37

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2010, 11:26:40 pm »
Private Eightball: No shit. At least ten times a day.

Private Cowboy: Instant Section Eight. He was just waiting for his papers to clear division.

Personally, I think you could make the argument that this movie is a "dark comedy".  It's every bit as funny as Fargo.
"Whatever it is, I am against it."  -Groucho Marx

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2010, 06:16:27 am »
Private Eightball: No shit. At least ten times a day.

Private Cowboy: Instant Section Eight. He was just waiting for his papers to clear division.

Personally, I think you could make the argument that this movie is a "dark comedy".  It's every bit as funny as Fargo.

Remember how Joker always said stuff about Cowboy's sister? In the book (or was it an early script?), it turned out that Cowboy didn't have a sister.

I also noticed all the racial stereotyping in the movie.

1. The stereotype that all rednecks are into inbreeding.
    Cowboy: Been gettin' any?
    Joker: Only your sister.
    Cowboy: Better my sister than my mom, though my mom's not bad!

2. The stereotype that all blacks have huge members.

    ARVN Pimp: She say "no boom boom with soul brother."
    Eightball: Say what the motherf*ck?
    ARVN Pimp: She say "soul brother too beaucoup."
    Cowboy: I think what he's trying to say is you black boys pack too much meat!
    ARVN Pimp: Too beaucoup, too beaucoup.
    Eightball: What we have here, little yellow sister, is a magnificent specimen of pure Alabama black snake. But it ain't to goddamn beaucoup.
3. The stereotype that all blacks play basketball.

    Stork: Hey, Payback. How do you stop five black dudes from raping a white chick?
    Payback: F*ck you, Stork.
    Stork: Throw'em a basketball.

In one of the earlier scripts, it was actually Animal Mother who asked that question to a dying Eightball, who was named Alice in the script.

Offline 37

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2010, 07:58:06 am »
I don't think Leonard can hack it anymore. I
Leonard's a Section Eight.


It don't
surprise me.

They both go back to mopping.

I want to slip my tubesteak into
your sister.
What'll you take in trade?


What have you got?

Strange conversation...who isn't Section 8 in the platoon?
"Whatever it is, I am against it."  -Groucho Marx

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Offline Valerius

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2012, 02:22:07 am »
When it came out, the ads for the movie said something to the effect of:

          "in 'nam, the wind didn't blow, it sucked."
"No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck."  -Frederick Douglass

Offline Letsbereal

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FULL METAL JACKET - Joker's disappearing peace symbol
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2013, 12:43:30 am »
FULL METAL JACKET - Joker's disappearing peace symbol
->>>|:-) THE CITY INDIANS (-:|<<<-

Offline Letsbereal

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Stanley Kubrick Directs 'Full Metal Jacket' in B-Roll Behind-the-Scenes Footage
->>>|:-) THE CITY INDIANS (-:|<<<-

Offline 37

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Re: Full Metal Jacket (1987)
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2014, 08:54:25 pm »

“'Patrol went up the mountain. One man came back. He died before he could tell us what happened.'

I waited for the rest, but it seemed not to be that kind of story; when I asked him what had happened he just looked like he felt sorry for me, f**ked if he’d waste time telling stories to anyone dumb as I was."

-Michael Herr Dispatches
"Whatever it is, I am against it."  -Groucho Marx

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