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Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

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Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Old 07-10-17, 03:20 AM
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Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Kubrick's penultimate movie opened wide 30 years ago today, on July 10th 1987.

I remember seeing it for the first time a year later. I was ten years old, in a motel room in Pennsylvania (my father was an auctioneer and traveled a lot to various sales). I woke up in the middle of the night and turned on the TV, just as HBO was starting to show Full Metal Jacket. I watched all the way through the training camp scenes, riveted, all the way up to Pyle's suicide in the latrine. I think I fell back asleep soon after.

It wasn't until years later I saw the second part of the movie. The popular opinion seems to be the first half is preferable to the second, a sentiment I share, though I do appreciate the war section of the movie much more now.

I was surprised to see Full Metal Jacket is one of Kubrick's shorter films. The only one of his movies made after Dr. Strangelove that is less than two hours long, only an hour and fifty-six minutes. Funny, the last time I watched it sure felt a lot longer.

It must have done pretty well at the box office. I looked at my local movie ads and saw it was still playing in October. Here's an ad of it headlining a double feature at the drive-in with Lethal Weapon.




One of Siskel and Ebert's most famous arguments was over Ebert's "thumbs down" on Full Metal Jacket. Here's him and Siskel fighting over that review on the Johnny Carson show (Full Metal Jacket fight starts at the 6 min mark)

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5J0Mn0kmLos" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

When did you first see Full Metal Jacket? In its original release or later on?
Old 07-10-17, 06:01 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Original release.

Having been through bootcamp, I had an affinity for the first half of the movie.
Old 07-10-17, 06:09 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

I held a 1-H (holding class) draft card for the Viet Nam war, ultimately didn't have to go, but I was scared I'd have to. While the 1st of the movie is particularly entertaining, the 2nd is supposed to be a pretty accurate depiction of what it was like, I'm really glad I didn't have to go. Enjoyed the film as a whole, enough that I wanted it in my collection. Outstanding movie.

Last edited by kd5; 07-10-17 at 01:17 PM.
Old 07-10-17, 09:07 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

A great film, IMO the second half is just as compelling as the first.
Old 07-10-17, 09:17 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Ironically I just re-watched this yesterday with no idea of the anniversary. Phenomenal movie.
Old 07-10-17, 10:51 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

my first Kubrick I saw in theaters upon release
Old 07-10-17, 10:57 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Haven't watched this in several years, I think it's time to revisit.
Old 07-10-17, 11:03 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Saw it upon its release in '87 when I was 14, and recently watched again with my 14-year old son (who was riveted by both halves of the film).

Worth mentioning: Michael Herr, who co-wrote the screenplay, also wrote the marvelous Vietnam War memoir Dispatches. A brilliant book, and I highly recommend it for fans of the movie. Although FMJ is based on the novel The Short Timers, by Gustav Hasford (the real-life Joker), there are quite a few real-life moments from Herr's reporting that made it into the film.
Old 07-10-17, 11:25 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

'Ol Gustav was shady as hell in real life, too.

Library books theft charges[edit]
In 1985, Hasford had borrowed 98 books from the Sacramento, California public library and was wanted for grand theft there.[6] Then, in 1988, shortly before the Oscars ceremony, he was charged with theft after campus police from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, found nearly 10,000 library books in his rented storage locker. At that time, he had 87 overdue books and five years of Civil War Times magazine issues checked out from the Cal Poly-SLO library; the materials were valued at over $20,000.[6]

Hasford's book collection included books borrowed (and never returned) from dozens of libraries across the United States, from libraries in Australia and the United Kingdom, and, allegedly, books taken from the homes of acquaintances. Among them were 19th-century books on Edgar Allan Poe and the American Civil War.[6] Hasford had obtained borrowing privileges at Cal Poly-SLO as a California resident, using a false address and Social Security number.[6]

Hasford initially denied the charges, but he eventually admitted possession of several hundred stolen books and pleaded nolo contendere ("no contest") to possession of stolen property. He was sentenced to six months' imprisonment (of which he served three months) and promised to pay restitution from the royalties for his future works.[6]

Hasford claimed that he wanted the books to research a never-published book on the Civil War. He described his difficulties as "a vicious attack launched against me by Moral Majority fanatics backed up by the full power of the Fascist State."[6]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Hasford
Old 07-10-17, 11:41 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Great film although Private Pyle would never have been able to get the rounds that he used to kill the DI and then himself out of the armory. Each round has to be accounted for before you leave the range or you ain't leaving.
Old 07-10-17, 11:53 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by stvn1974
Great film although Private Pyle would never have been able to get the rounds that he used to kill the DI and then himself out of the armory. Each round has to be accounted for before you leave the range or you ain't leaving.
Yeah, I always wondered about that as well, but maybe things were different back then.
Old 07-10-17, 11:59 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

I'm not sure if anyone ever read The Phantom Blooper (the sequel to the Short Timers/FMJ) but don't. It absolutely ruins the story of Joker.
Old 07-10-17, 12:02 PM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Yeah, I always wondered about that as well, but maybe things were different back then.
My dad went through Marine boot camp during Viet Nam and he said the drill instructors took the firing pins out of the weapons if they were kept in the barracks overnight. So even if he had the ammo the weapon wouldn't have fired. I can't stand watching military/war movies with my dad.
Old 07-10-17, 12:07 PM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Oddly, these details I'm learning are actually enhancing the scene in my mind instead of detracting, because now I'm envisioning Pyle being patient and clever enough to overcome the obstacles of secreting ammo and an extra firing pin.
Old 07-10-17, 12:11 PM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

I was 9 when this came out. I remember seeing the posters up everywhere.

In that ad above there's a tag line "Vietnam can kill me but it can't make me care." I've never seen that before. More often the tag line is, "In Vietnam the wind doesn't blow, it sucks."

Both tag lines are dreadful. Terrible marketing IMO.

I saw it in VHS when I was 16 or 17. I was already a Kubrick fan and I'd seen 2001, Clockwork, Dr. Strangelove, and the Shining. It blew me away. I was walking on air for several hours afterward.
Old 07-10-17, 07:07 PM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Great movie. I always thought the first half of it was much stronger than the war stuff.
Old 07-10-17, 07:25 PM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

It was funny, I was reading articles from when the movie came out, and one reviewer praised it and ended by saying something like "Let's hope Kubrick's next movie doesn't take as long to come out as this one did after The Shining."
Old 07-10-17, 07:47 PM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

I missed the revival of this on the first with Modine and D'onofrio doing a Q&A.
Old 07-10-17, 08:14 PM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Really like this movie. What's interesting is that the basic training sequence for which this movie is so well known is more like a first act than it is the first half; I think it only lasts for a little over thirty minutes.

One thing I always wondered was whether or not Pyle was drafted or enlisted. I seem to recall reading that most men were drafted into the army/mobile infantry and that the marines were a bit more selective with whom they took. I'm inclined to think he was drafted when the war escalated and they lowered their physical standards, as I don't see him passing any physicals if he enlisted voluntarily.
Old 07-10-17, 08:52 PM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Great film.
Old 07-10-17, 10:07 PM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD
Really like this movie. What's interesting is that the basic training sequence for which this movie is so well known is more like a first act than it is the first half; I think it only lasts for a little over thirty minutes.
Nope, you are wrong. The first half is a little over 45 mins. The film including credits is 1:56.
Old 07-11-17, 12:38 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Never noticed the goof in the beginning of the film as Hartman is going around talking to the grunts -- Gomer Pile is initially standing to the left of Joker and Cowboy, but when Hartman gets into their faces Pile is to the right.
Old 07-11-17, 08:24 AM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD
Really like this movie. What's interesting is that the basic training sequence for which this movie is so well known is more like a first act than it is the first half; I think it only lasts for a little over thirty minutes.

One thing I always wondered was whether or not Pyle was drafted or enlisted. I seem to recall reading that most men were drafted into the army/mobile infantry and that the marines were a bit more selective with whom they took. I'm inclined to think he was drafted when the war escalated and they lowered their physical standards, as I don't see him passing any physicals if he enlisted voluntarily.
I believe the Marines are 100% volunteer.
Old 07-11-17, 04:29 PM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Nope, you are wrong. The first half is a little over 45 mins. The film including credits is 1:56.
I know the credits run for the length of The Rolling Stones Paint it Black (approx. 3 1/2 minutes.) So, the movie is 1 hour and 53 minutes of actual run time. The first 45 minutes are devoted to basic training, which leaves another hour and 8 minutes. That's not exactly half the movie if you go with basic math.
Old 07-11-17, 05:12 PM
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Re: Full Metal Jacket 30th Anniversary

Originally Posted by Mabuse
I believe the Marines are 100% volunteer.
This pretty much is true. I've read where for a few years in the 60s if you were drafted, you could enlist in the Marines if you didn't want to go Army.

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