Archive of films The Big Red One: The Reconstruction / The Big Red One: The Reconstruction
2004, 159 min
Section: Special Events
This gripping tale of an American army sergeant and his four charges, who travel across the European battlefields of the Second World War, was returned some of its original missing footage 25 years after its premiere; thus we now have the reconstruction of a cult war film, with legendary tough guy Lee Marvin in the role of a lifetime.
xOne of the most famous films in its genre, it was almost 25 years after the premiere that, thanks to film critic and documentarist Richard Schickel, the film finally received the reconstruction it deserved. Using director Samuel Fuller’s notes and complete screenplay, Schickle extended the shortened 113minute version to reflect the director’s original intensions. The film comprises various episodes in which a sergeant of the 1st Infantry Division (thus the film’s title - the insignia on the uniform’s sleeve), played by the legendary Lee Marvin, and four young men assigned to him travel across North Africa, Sicily, Omaha beach, Germany and from there to Czechoslovakia. Despite the sweeping geographical locations, Fuller, using his own experiences, reduces the Second World War to a mere five individuals, and their differing responses to the fact that, in war, one doesn’t murder, but ‘merely’ kills.
About the director
Samuel Fuller (1912-1997). Before enlisting in the army at the age of 29, Samuel Fuller earned a living as a journalist. He began his own directing career, lasting over forty years, with the western I Shot Jesse James (1949). The following decade was crucial for his career when, together with Robert Aldrich and Nicholas Ray, he was part of a new generation of filmmakers who retuned the classic melodrama more in the direction of film noir poetics, emphasising the darkly romantic side with a tendency towards the lyricism of violence (e.g. Pickup on South Street, 1953). In the sixties, Fuller became celebrated for the films Shock Corridor (1963) and The Naked Kiss (1964), which are more Hollywood B movies, yet still remarkable works for their time, particularly thanks to the unconventional treatment of popular stories from cheap magazines. This was also why Fuller was considered by European critics as one of the pure auteurs.
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About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Dir. of Photography:||Adam Greenberg|
|Editor:||Bryan McKenzie, Morton Tubor|
|Cast:||Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby Di Cicco, Kelly Ward|
|Contact:||Warner Bros. Entertainment - Czech Republic, Warner Bros London, Warner Home Video|