Synopsis: In this riveting look at military life during the Vietnam conflict, Stanley Kubrick, who made the powerful antiwar classics Paths of Glory(WWI) and Dr. Strangelove (the cold war), once again explores the behavior of men in battle. Full Metal Jacket, adapted from Gustav Hasford's novel The Short Timers, is broken down into two very different parts. The first half of the film focuses on the training of a squad of Marine grunts on Parris Island, and more specifically on the troubled relationship between the brutal drill sergeant (a frightening Lee Ermey) and an oafish misfit (a brilliant Vincent D'Onofrio) who just happens to be a sharpshooter. The first half ends with a devastating, unforgettable scene, leading into the second half, which takes the grunts to Hue City, the climactic battle of the 1968 Tet Offensive and the turning point of the Vietnam War. The story is told through the eyes of Private Joker (Matthew Modine), a cynical aspiring photojournalist who is soon forced to fight for his life and the lives of his fellow recruits. The sniper scene, which takes place amid bombed-out buildings (rather than in the familiar jungles), serves as a microcosm for the Vietnam War--as well as war in general.
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Dorian Harewood
Region Code: 2 (UK & Europe)
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