The Big Red One

Film, Drama

Time Out says

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.


Release details

113 mins

Cast and crew

Samuel Fuller
Samuel Fuller
Lee Marvin
Mark Hamill
Robert Carradine
Bobby DiCicco
Kelly Ward
Stéphane Audran