War Films : The Big Red One - Restored Version (1980)

The Big Red One - Restored Version (1980)

Dear Samuel Fuller,

this guy called Quentin Tarantino ripped off the beginning of your film with the visuals of the statue of Jesus on the cross. He might also have been inspired (for another film of his) by the scene where a Belgian maid identifies a German officer posing as an American by the way he eats a steak.

I liked the story - a tightly knit unit of soldiers lead by a sergeant (Lee Marvin) who is both ruthless and humane take part in some of the important battles of World War 2. Your film can be looked at as series of dramatic and action set pieces separated by scenes of the soldiers interacting with each other and cracking jokes. The soldiers helping a German woman deliver a baby, eating lunch with a bunch of Italian mamas, partying with Belgian women and attacking a mental asylum stood out for me. But the action scenes were the film's weak point. Sometimes, they went on and on. They were quite boring. I guess you were aiming for realism. I liked the extensive use of close ups and the quick cuts in the battle scenes. The images of the bloodied waves and food stood out for me.

Rober Carradine who plays the Italian narrator looked like a young John Cassavetes. Lee Marvin was effortlessly bad ass and melancholic as the leader of the squadron. The catharsis for Marvin's character (who has fought in both the World War's) at the film's end was very imaginative and touching.

Best Regards,