Genre Guesstimation – The Great Santini (1979)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre was chosen by Sherise of the Girl Who Loved to Review and she chose Movies from the 1970’s as the Genre for September.  If you want to still submit a movie, the deadline is 25 September. Just send it to me at

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Movies of the 1970’s…

great santini“I’d like to propose a toast, to my son. He is eighteen today. He has just ordered his first drink. Before he drinks it, I’d like to wish him a long life, a wife as fine as his mother, and a son as fine as he’s been. To my son! ” – Bull Meechum

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Sep 2015)

Brief Synopsis – A tough marine aviation officer tries to find the balance between his demeanor as a commander and as a father

My Take on it – As a teen, I read all of Pat Conroy’s books and felt a strong connection to his characters and to the way he writes.

When I had the opportunity to do so, I’d watch the films but always came away disappointed because too many important elements (IMHO) were excised.

I’ve been meaning to watch this for years and finally now got a chance (and inclination) to do so.

The fact that the two leads are excellent helps this movie’s cause, but unfortunately not enough.  Robert Duvall and Michael O’Keefe were both nominated for Oscars for their roles, but neither had much of a chance to win that year against Robert DeNiro for Raging Bull (1980) and Timothy Hutton for Ordinary People (1980).

The way this movie was adapted for teh screen feels very sloppy because there are too many scenes that feel choppy and incomplete.

Bottom Line – Similar to all of the adaptations of his books, this is just a poor attempt to do justice to such a great novel.  Duvall and O’Keeffe are both excellent but the story still feels extremely choppie as if something was missing now and again.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – On the morning of the Academy Award nominations in 1981, when the movie got nods for actor and supporting actor, author Pat Conroy received a phone call from him father who told him “You and me got nominated for Academy Awards, your mother didn’t get squat”. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Unfortunately not. Like the other Conroy adaptations, the movies all pale in comparison to the impact of the books

Rating – BAFTA Worthy


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Here is a link to my movie index A-Z

5 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – The Great Santini (1979)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Genre Grandeur September Finale – Chinatown (1974) – The Girl That Loved to Review |

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1979 |

  4. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1980 |

  5. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1980 |

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