An American soldier who has lost his arms, legs, eyes, ears, mouth, and nose in WWI wavers back and forth between his memories and harsh reality. He remains frustrated, until he discovers a unique way to communicate—and makes a daring request.
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Dalton Trumbo's muddled adaptation of his own novel takes a fascinating story and reduces it to a dull, tedious melodrama, complete with some misguided, forced attempts at surrealism. Cheaply-made with murky photography and overwrought performances - the whole film has a rushed, amateurish feel to it. A major disappointment as it's the sole directorial effort from screenwriting legend Trumbo.
Has kind of a fundamental crisis between its literary origins and attempt to visualise the interior. It does so badly. Can only imagine what Bunuel might have made! Definitely wouldn't have been so self-serious. Recycled by the metalheads and embraced for its bleak subject, I suspect partially championed by NRA members and those who love war films for the bad reasons.
Seminal anti-war film directed by D. Trumbo (initially intended for Buñuel). Told largely in flashbacks-reminiscences (shot in color) of a horrifically mutiliated Johnny, silent in his hospital bed (shot in b/w), this quasi-surreal film poses unrelenting questions to war enthusiasts. Poetic and painful, it makes for a powerful pacifist message. Unjustly underated its saving grace is the power of communication: SOS...
I'm happy that I decided to watch this film. As someone else said, parts seemed a little dragged out. However, I think you'll either love it or hate it. I found it to be powerful and saddening. ithink it was meant to be an eye-opener for the consequences of war. I could feel John's frustration while trying to cope in his situation; but also imagining myself in his position would be enough to sink me into depression
The montage from color to b/w frames is incredibly beautiful! I also liked how disturbing is to know that Joe is actually not talking. It is like the talking distracts the real critical situation of Joe. Finally, I think it is a wonderful idea to be shown as a truly war product exhibition
Directed by the author of the original story of the same name, this movie is an antiwar sob story that lacked the production value and lightning to really get me in the proper mood to feel for the amputated nameless soldier. Perhaps I am just too spoiled by 2017 cinematography standards for movies, but the "special effects" really require a lot of imagination in order for them to work in this flick. Average at best.