THE BIG RED ONE (1980) C widescreen 113m dir: Samuel Fuller
w/Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby DiCicco, Kelly Ward, Siegfried Rauch, Stephane Audran, Serge Marquand, Charles Macaulay, Alain Douty
Director Fuller's most personal film profoundly comprehends the effects of war on men. Story of a squad in WWII Europe which is headed by an anonymous sergeant (Marvin) and his "Four Horsemen" who survive the war over the bodies of the "wetnose" replacements who facelessly arrive and die.
From The Movie Guide: "Samuel Fuller's episodic THE BIG RED ONE is a powerful, humorous, and touching autobiographical film that's the last of the great WWII movies. ...
"Based on his own WWII experiences, THE BIG RED ONE was a dream project for Samuel Fuller, who had tried to get the film made for decades. Despite the film's limited budget, which necessitated that most of the location shooting be done in Israel, and the continuity lapses due to post-production tinkering, Fuller manages to create one of the most poignant war films ever made. Fuller demonstrates his philosophy that 'the only glory in war is surviving,' by focusing on the Four Horsemen and through a series of searing scenes filled with unforgettable images (a Nazi hiding behind a giant crucifix in the middle of a battlefield; the terrified eyes of concentration camp prisoners). Real-life ex-Marine Lee Marvin is perfect as the taciturn yet compassionate Sarge, and Robert Carradine is amusing as Zab, the cigar-chomping, pulp-novelist Fuller-surrogate, while the character of Griff is solemnly played by Mark Hamill. Vehemently antimilitaristic, the film celebrates camaraderie and brotherhood and eloquently demonstrates the ultimate futility of war."