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740 Ratings

The Big Red One

Directed by Samuel Fuller
United States, 1980
Drama, Action, War


The story of a sergeant and the inner core members of his unit as they try to serve in and survive World War II.

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The Big Red One Directed by Samuel Fuller

Critics reviews

There’s a timeless quality inherent to the most efficient of Fuller’s gestures, and a resilience reflected in the lives it so sympathetically eulogizes, that has allowedThe Big Red One, in its many incarnations, to persevere all these years.
May 08, 2014
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What are people saying?

  • Renton47's rating of the film The Big Red One

    In retrospect easier to swallow Fuller's fever-dream vision of war that compresses space and time to an endless series of gunfire and small-talk. It's almost as if the film, like the soldiers, is worried that to stop and philosophise could end the momentum that guarantees life. In this exhaustion occasional moments of beauty; a dead soldier rolling down sand dunes, the final flip from murder to preservation

  • Michael H. CLAES's rating of the film The Big Red One

    Film de guerre américain réalisé par Samuel Fuller sorti en 1980 et réédité après un nouveau montage plus long en 2004. Avec Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine, Stéphane Audran, Serge Marquand, Marthe Villalonga, Guy Marchand. Images de la scène étonnante d'un accouchement dans un tank.

  • msmichel's rating of the film The Big Red One

    2004 reconstruction. Second viewing of this bloated, overlong yet inspired personal film from Sam Fuller. Based on his own experiences in the second world war the film bites off quite a bit more than it can chew. Not made on an epic enough scale to dull the senses but not intimate enough to raise any true empathy either. Marvin well cast but the younger members of the cast don't capture the period. Worth a look.

  • Dave's rating of the film The Big Red One

    One of the best war movies I have ever seen and quite possibly my all-time favorite Sam Fuller film (which is saying something). The direction is often spectacular, but what stands out to me most is Fuller's amazing script. The writing is so good, easily shifting between intense battle sequences and intimate, bittersweet moments among the comrades. Great stuff, one of the greatest films of the 1980s.

  • CJ Roy's rating of the film The Big Red One

    While I'm happy to have finally watched it, AMC really made some jarring commercial breaks that seemed to cut out major chunks of the film. I also believe it was the non Fuller cut. Surprisingly humorous, tense and Lee Marvin on top of his game.

  • Christopher R. Smith's rating of the film The Big Red One

    Though the production values may be a tad lackluster (Fuller was forced a very low budget), his trademark taut filmmaking pulls it through to be not only one of the best movies Fuller, and any else, ever made. Tense, expertly-staged battle scenes; great moments of authentic, absurd humor; and quiet scenes of understated, powerful emotion - not to mention the legendary Lee Marvin in maybe his best performance.

  • Endre's rating of the film The Big Red One

    Seems out of place to rate something like this, because this is Fuller's film and not mine, this is the damaged yet thriving fragments of a lived experience I know nothing about. It seems to me that Fuller has taken a matter-of-fact-approach and thereby hit the absurd. It's a comedy, then it's horror, then it's real life and emotion looking you straight in your face, making an ultra close-up of your ignorance.

  • Andre's rating of the film The Big Red One

    The film is choppy, the characters sketches, it's clearly low budget...and at the end, some kind of brilliant. Maybe the purest distillation of Fuller, a man who contrives epic cinema out of nothing. The haunting human moments are there, you just have to be quick enough to catch them. We shall not see its likes again.

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