The Big Red One

Film, Drama
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The Big Red One
In outline, a chronicle of the movements of a squad from the 1st US Infantry Division through WWII, from a beach-head assault in North Africa to the liberation of a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. The sergeant is played by Marvin, and four young riflemen are the only members of his squad who survive the war with him; one of them (Carradine) is Fuller's surrogate - because this is Fuller telling his own story, synthesising every thought he ever had about the experience of warfare. No heroics, no anti-heroics, no 'drama' to speak of; instead a racy description of incidents from a great war correspondent, married with a Bressonian concentration on feelings of isolation and dislocation. Visually and philosophically, it's Fuller's equivalent of Kurosawa's Kagemusha, although Fuller's film is more complex, more absurd and more haunted.

By: TR

Release details

Duration: 113 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Samuel Fuller
Screenwriter: Samuel Fuller
Cast: Lee Marvin
Mark Hamill
Robert Carradine
Bobby DiCicco
Kelly Ward
Stéphane Audran
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