The Big Red One (1980)

big red one“[narrating] The Bangalore Torpedo was 50′ long and packed with 85 pounds of TNT and you assembled it along the way. By hand. I’d love to meet the asshole who invented it. ” – Zab

Number of Times Seen – 1 (26 Aug 2015)

Brief Synopsis – A semi autobiographical tale of a squad of US soldiers during WWII as they fight from Africa to Germany

My Take on it – This is a movie that I’ve been interested in seeing for years, but never got around to it.

It stars Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill (underused) and Robert Carradine and all are ok here.

I think that when this movie came out in 1980, it was much more groundbreaking at the time then it feels now 35 years later.

We have been treated to some great cinematic movies portraying soldiers fighting in WWII since then and this one feels too generic in so many aspects.  Both the characters and the storyline feel so overused in other formats over the last 3 decades that in certain scenes they feel so laughable despite probably being innovative at the time.

One of the problems that I have with this movie is that it feels quite similar in certain ways to Band of Brothers (2001) or Saving Private Ryan (1997) that it’s possible that this would have been even better had been much longer because the kind of story they are trying to tell is too comprehensive to fit into less than 2 hours.  Many of the scenes feel choppy and incomplete in order to give us a better perspective of the action.

Bottom Line – Interesting movie that probably was much more groundbreaking when it came out, but now feels quite generic in it’s characters and storyline.  Nice to see Marvin, Hamill and Carradine in this.  Unfortunately, it feels a bit too short for such a comprehensive storyline.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The bulk of the picture was shot in Israel, and director Samuel Fuller remarked that it was unsettling after a scene was shot when the German soldiers and SS troops pull would take off their helmets and Fuller would see them wearing yarmulkes, and between takes they would be sitting around the set in full Nazi uniform speaking Hebrew or reading the Torah. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy


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3 thoughts on “The Big Red One (1980)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1980 |

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