The Big Red One

The Big Red One

Director: Samuel Fuller Cast: Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine


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Iconoclastic film director Samuel Fuller spent decades nurturing his dream project, a movie about his experiences in the Army's First Infantry Division during World War II, but it wasn't until 1979 that he was able to finally bring the picture before the cameras. Unfortunately, Fuller was forced by his producers to work with a scaled-down budget, and he did not have final cut on the film; after his first rough cut ran nearly four-and-a-half hours, the studio took over editing on the project, and Fuller was vocally unhappy with the final results. In 2003, critic and film historian Richard Schickel initiated an effort to restore The Big Red One to a form that more closely resembled Fuller's original vision; using a large cache of newly discovered footage and the director's shooting script as a guide, the 113-minute theatrical version was expanded to 158 minutes, adding depth and detail to Fuller's sweeping and episodic tale of a hard-as-nails sergeant (Lee Marvin) and four inexperienced recruits under his command (Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby Di Cicco, and Kelly Ward) as they battle their way across Africa to Europe between 1942 and 1945. Schickel's reconstruction received enthusiastic reviews when it went into limited release in the fall of 2004.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/03/2005
UPC: 0012569705906
Original Release: 2004
Rating: R
Source: Warner Home Video
Region Code: 1
Time: 2:42:00

Special Features

Cardboard O-sleeve package. Disc One: Digitally mastered with soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1; commentary by reconstruction producer Richard Schickel.
Disc Two: Alternate scenes; anatomy of a scene: before-amd-after restoration comparisons; new documentary, "The Real Glory: Reconstructing The Big Red One; "The Men Who Made the Movies: Samuel Fuller" profile; U.S. War Department film, "The Fighting First"; 1980 promo reel, theatrical trailer and TV and radio spots; 2004 reconstruction trailer; stills gallery.

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lee Marvin Sergeant Possum
Mark Hamill Griff
Robert Carradine Zab
Bobby Di Cicco Vinci
Stéphane Audran Walloon
Kelly Ward Johnson
Siegfried Rauch Schroeder
Serge Marquand Rensonnet
Charles Macaulay General/Captain
Alain Doutey Broban
Maurice Marsac Vichy Colonel
Colin Gilbert Dog Face POW
Marthe Villalonga Mme. Marbaise
Doug Werner Switolski
Ken Campbell Lemchek
Perry Lang Kaiser
Joseph Clark Shep
Howard Delman Smitty

Technical Credits
Samuel Fuller Director,Screenwriter
Adam Greenberg Cinematographer
Merv Adelson Executive Producer
Gene Corman Producer
Peter Jamison Art Director
Dana Kaproff Score Composer
Jim McBride Screenwriter
Bryan McKenzie Editor
Lee Rich Executive Producer
Richard Schickel Producer
Arne Schmidt Asst. Director
Mort Tubor Editor

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Big Red One, Disc One
1. Credits [1:28]
2. 1918: War's End [4:10]
3. His Wetnoses [2:57]
4. North Africa Beach [4:41]
5. Killing, Not Murder [3:13]
6. Sing Us a Lullaby [3:25]
7. Amphitheater Siege [4:27]
8. No Ears, No Backtalk [3:47]
9. Digging In [5:49]
10. Sergeant of Arabia [5:31]
11. Sicily: Tag Team Combat [4:19]
12. Village Sniper [3:22]
13. Smitty's Still Got It [3:03]
14. Help From the Navy [6:59]
15. The Big Gun [6:01]
16. Targeting the Gun Crew [2:41]
17. Heroes for an Hour [4:25]
18. D-Day, Omaha Beach [5:01]
19. Bangalore Torpedo [7:37]
20. He Wrote the Book [2:37]
21. Into a Trap [:14]
22. Sgt. Possum Strikes Back [1:08]
23. It's a Boy [4:03]
24. Asylum in Belgium [4:18]
25. Following Ben Franklin's Lead [5:25]
26. Camera Eye [7:03]
27. Hurtgen Forest [2:51]
28. Killing His Killer [1:43]
29. Party Instructions [3:46]
30. Take the Hill [2:42]
31. Infiltrator [3:46]
32. Volksturm and Schnapps [3:14]
33. Candid Countess [3:30]
34. Castle Sniper [3:54]
35. Czechoslovakia [4:36]
36. Trigger Effect [3:52]
37. Father Figure [2:32]
38. Survivors [4:54]
39. End Credits [6:23]
Side #2 -- Big Red One, Disc Two
1. Introduction [1:15]
2. Meeting Sam [5:33]
3. The Survivors [9:04]
4. Lee Marvin [7:09]
5. The Reconstruction [6:52]
6. Picture Restoration [4:33]
7. Sound Restoration [5:19]
8. Musical Score [4:53]
9. Closing [2:12]
10. End Credits [:27]
1. Heat of the Story [3:39]
2. Newspaperman [Park Row]. [1:57]
3. I Shot Jesse James [6:00]
4. Verboten! [1:47]
5. The Steel Helmet [5:19]
6. Fixed Bayonets [2:52]
7. Pickup on South Street [8:27]
8. Run of the Arrow [1:19]
9. Forty Guns [5:49]
10. Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss [4:51]
11. The Big Red One [10:49]
12. Survivor; End Credits [2:05]

Customer Reviews

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The Big Red One 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
marx331 More than 1 year ago
I consider this movie a good addition to my war collection. Its a little long for my taste but overall it serves its purpose.
edvardjr More than 1 year ago
When it was originally released, The Big Red One was a good movie, but now that it has been expanded to more properly meet director Samuel Fuller's original vision of the project, we see the film as an unquestionable masterpiece. It's a big, sprawling look at the 1st infantry's efforts in WWII, from the beaches of Africa to the concentration camps in Czechoslavakia. Lee Marvin is great (as always) as the unflinching harda-- who, at moments, shows his affection for people, such as the moment he accepts his helmet from an Italian girl who has decorated it to look like a bouquet of flowers, or the end when Marvin befriends a mute boy in a concentration camp. Mark Hamill, still in the thick of Star Wars, also has a great role as a soldier who begins to question the morality of the war, stating that he cannot murder anyone. Marvin corrects him, you don't murder animals, you kill them. Late in the movie, Hamill discovers something that changes him completely, making for a most memorable scene in a film filled with memorable moments. Robert Carradine, who most know from Revenge of the Nerds, plays the Sam Fuller character, a cigar-smoking writer who thrills at the moment when he meets a fellow soldier reading his very own book. His best moment comes when he meets a replacement, one of many who he refuses to acknowledge simply because replacements all end up dead. "Will I get it?" the replacement asks. "Why?" Carradine says, removing his cigar, "you think you're somethin' special?" The added footage is all great, adding moments to scenes already in place, such as the embarassing moment where the men help a woman give birth in a German tank, or where they are led to an emplaced weapon by a young boy trying to bury his mother. But the best additions to the movie are huge scenes long thought vanished. The best one is the scene where the men are being held down by a sniper in a ruinous castle. What they find inside is quite startling and leads to one very emotional moment followed by maybe the funniest moment in the film. Also added is a major subplot that follows a German soldier, the one fated to encounter Lee Marvin at the end. We see how the other half lives and how they're not so different from the allies, not always anyhow. On the whole, a great movie that will hopefully be rediscovered as one of the finest films of its kind.