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The Big Red One


Price: $17.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby Di Cicco, Kelly Ward
  • Directors: Samuel Fuller
  • Writers: Samuel Fuller
  • Producers: Brian Jamieson, Douglas Freeman, Gene Corman, Richard Schickel
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 27, 1999
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790741814
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,747 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Big Red One" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A dramatic war story of five fighting men who composed a rifle unit in the desert of North Africa.
Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Rating: PG
Release Date: 5-OCT-2004
Media Type: DVD

Amazon.com

In Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg depicts the D-day landings with a realism lauded by veterans. The Big Red One depicts the D-day landings, too, and it was made by a veteran. Writer-director Samuel Fuller, who served in the First Infantry Division from North Africa to Czechoslovakia (including the Normandy landings), made a career out of swift, punchy B movies, such as Pickup on South Street and The Naked Kiss. The Big Red One became Fuller's nod to A-movie filmmaking, yet it has the solid, matter-of-fact perspective of the ground-level infantryman. The episodic action ranges all over the European theater, as a tough squad of American GIs (including Mark Hamill and Robert Carradine) follow their hard-bitten sergeant (Lee Marvin, at his best) and try to stay alive. Filmed mostly in Israel, the film delivers on the requisite war-movie conventions and tough-guy humor but also introduces notes of poetry. Fuller's D-day doesn't match the pyrotechnics of Spielberg's version, but it creates power from the simple image of a dead soldier's watch, ticking away in blood-soaked surf. A fine and memorable picture, The Big Red One might have been even greater had it been released in Fuller's full-length cut--not until 2005 did a reconstruction allow the director's vision to be seen for the first time. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

To me it is the best war movie ever made.
Sonicboy
It start with scenes in North Africa, but it jumps from one battle to another, then you are suddenly on another ship going somewhere.
Colin Povey
He makes it easy for us because by this point in the movie we know what kind of a man he is.
Daniel Fineberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

226 of 237 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Fineberg on February 24, 2005
Format: DVD
Whenever I would catch it on cable years and years ago, Sam Fuller's "The Big Red One" was a quirky war movie with strange pacing and a very uneven balance of comedy and tragedy, of high and low-- several great moments strung loosely together. Working on the upcoming DVD, I was not aware of the fact that Fuller had shot 4 hours or that he wished to his dying day that the film would be lengthened, and I was skeptical as I always am with extended versions (this one carries the subtitle "Reconstruction"). I got to look at it several times, once for business and twice more for pleasure, because the film is transformed and made great, and there are so many memorable scenes that one wants to go back to it again and again. 40-plus minutes have been added on, some full scenes, some simply extended bits to old scenes. The narrative structure of the movie is still very free and loose, very episodic, but the greater length is absolutely crucial to the plot, since we are meant to get at least some slight idea of the tedium and homesickness that goes along with being a soldier in an ongoing war. Fleshed out is the character and performance of Lee Marvin--everything that he is capable of as an actor, everything that that stone wall of a face can convey is on display here--tough as all hell but with a simultaneous sweetness that can be, when called upon, heartbreaking. Look at his expression when a gunfight breaks out after the Italian girl places flowers on his helmet--he jabs the rifle into position along his chin and begins firing rounds, his face jerking only slighty with each shot. We don't see anything of the gunfight, only close-up on his face and the expression says nothing and everything all at once--we're meant to meet him halfway and fill in the blanks ourselves.Read more ›
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 11, 2001
Format: DVD
Sarge (Lee Marvin), first saw combat near the end of WWI. Now, years later, in North Africa in WWII he is a grizzled, war weary, seen it all veteran. Nevertheless, he's still resolute in his duty and a proud wearer of the Red #1 arm patch insignia of the US 1st Infantry Division. He is leader, father, mother, coach and whatever else he needs to be to get his rifle squad through the war. The four principal characters of interest are Griff (Mark Hamill), an expert riflemen but one who can't shoot the enemy if he sees his eyes; he calls it murder, Sarge says otherwise. There is Zab (Robert Carradine) who's main purpose is narrator, his musings provide background and setting; the other two are Johnson and Vinci. We follow this group throughout the movie and the war from North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, Belgium and finally to a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia for a series of emotionally powerful concluding scenes.
There is no glorification of war here; indeed the message is very clear - the only glory in war is surviving. The movie is very creative in introducing characters whose sole purpose, with their demise, is to underline this message. The short careers of both Lemchek and Kaiser are cases in point. The battle scenes are weak and unrealistic but that's not the emphasis. The action scenes that are memorable are the ones with a subtle message; the camera focusing in on the dead soldiers wristwatch in the surf of Normandy, the water turning red with the passing of time; the scene at the asylum in France and the concentration camp scene where Griff overcomes his compunction about shooting while seeing the whites of his enemies eyes.
It's a well crafted movie, with some strong acting from Lee Marvin and Mark Hamill and a movie which delivers it's message in a well thought out and strong ending.
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78 of 87 people found the following review helpful By D. W. Mittelberg, Jr. on February 17, 2005
Format: DVD
I remember the original movie when I was younger. I was too young to see it in the theater so I saw it often on HBO. When it came out on videotape and then DVD I purchased it. And then I saw the bigger & badder version. WOW! What a movie. Yes, its almost an hour longer than the original, but it makes it such a better movie. There are scenes added that add more storyline, character buildup and more action. Being this is now 3 hours long it borders on beating out Saving Private Ryan as the best WWII movie ever made. Lee Marvin is at his best, but then again he was always at top form. This movie follows a rifle squad thoughout the battlefields of World War II. It seems the Sargeant (Marvin) and his 4 soldiers seem to always leave battles unharmed while the new soldiers that arrive fall victim to bullets and landmines. In this film you follow the First Infantry through North Africa and Sicily and then to the beaches of Normandy and straight through Germany. If you like long epic war films, then my friend you'll love this one. It's 3 hours well spent.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Joel R. Bryan on January 9, 2001
Format: DVD
Lee Marvin and his Easter Island visage star in this Samuel Fuller-directed World War II story about a 1st Infantry Division rifle squad, hence the title. Robert Carradine narrates the story (he's the writer of the bunch, so we see the squad from his point of view) and Mark Hamill plays a soldier who just can't bring himself to fire a shot in anger until the war's final day. The troops experience the war as a day-to-day series of small triumphs and losses. Their ultimate victory, as Carradine's narration makes clear, is surviving the whole hellish mess. And Fuller, through Carradine's voice, dedicates this movie to the guys who came back. Lee Marvin is like a stone idol; at times, his craggy face bears the scars and seams of one who's done it all before (his character fought in the First World War), but his eyes express weariness, sadness and even tender affection for the soldier-boys under his care. Especially well played is a scene where a North African girl garlands Marvin's helmet with flowers. He gives her the slightest of smiles, says nothing, puts on the helmet and makes himself look ridiculous to please her. Full of moments like this, this movie is intimate and ultimately very moving, in a manly, unsentimental, tough guy sort of way. Well worth the time.
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