In retrospect easier to swallow Fuller's fever-dream vision of war that compresses space and time to an endless series of gunfire and small-talk. It's almost as if the film, like the soldiers, is worried that to stop and philosophise could end the momentum that guarantees life. In this exhaustion occasional moments of beauty; a dead soldier rolling down sand dunes, the final flip from murder to preservation
How did this get made? Epic in scope, gonzo in attitude. It's a messy marvel that Fuller was given the funding to shoot a film with so much (incomprehensible) action and a scathingly absurdist attitude. I'm not sure he should have been, but there are individual anecdotes within this anarchic assemblage that make it worth the while.
Saw a documentary on Samuel Fuller a couple of days ago that peaked my interest. When I first saw this movie as a kid in the 80's and it left an impression on me. Now I am older and for some reason I am not as impressed. Perhaps I am comparing it to war movies that came after. If you compare the Omaha beach scene to Saving Private Ryan, Spielberg's depiction comes out as more realistic. Still a great movie though
Film de guerre américain réalisé par Samuel Fuller sorti en 1980 et réédité après un nouveau montage plus long en 2004. Avec Lee Marvin, Robert Carradine, Stéphane Audran, Serge Marquand, Marthe Villalonga, Guy Marchand. Images de la scène étonnante d'un accouchement dans un tank. https://www.facebook.com/zyx.mhclaes/media_set?set=a.674598675929612.1073741863.100001384583310&type=3
Repetitive, with many battle sequences not well connected together, and underplayed characterization. Yet, there's some memorable jet-black comic absurdity, and the most interesting aspect is the unique theme of the sexual repression of the soldiers in combat, as well as a scene with a WWI monument that shows that although the war's change, every soldiers' glory of war is only survival.
One extremely clever waltz along the thin line between patheticness and satire; big-words epic and B-movie punchlines; expendable heroes and larger than life no-names. Exploring new, sometimes bizzare, subplots within the war movie genre (like giving birth in a tank!?), it manages to create a whole new perspective on the subject, devoid of any propaganda.
WW1 & 2 veteran sergeant with no name ("The Sergeant") leads his squad from Africa, across Europe to the liberalization of a Nazi Concentration Camp "Falkenau", in todays Czech Republic. This guy believes he has experienced everything about human sufferings and pain. But then he is under shock. How desperate he is about the victim little boy! Unforgettable Lee Marvin, again in one of his masterpiece actings.
2004 reconstruction. Second viewing of this bloated, overlong yet inspired personal film from Sam Fuller. Based on his own experiences in the second world war the film bites off quite a bit more than it can chew. Not made on an epic enough scale to dull the senses but not intimate enough to raise any true empathy either. Marvin well cast but the younger members of the cast don't capture the period. Worth a look.
Seems out of place to rate something like this, because this is Fuller's film and not mine, this is the damaged yet thriving fragments of a lived experience I know nothing about. It seems to me that Fuller has taken a matter-of-fact-approach and thereby hit the absurd. It's a comedy, then it's horror, then it's real life and emotion looking you straight in your face, making an ultra close-up of your ignorance.
Fuller's anecdotal narrative forbids the conceited philosophising of the layperson, traces of which permeate even the top tier of the genre. Instead it plays like a collection of war stories from a veteran seeking alternatively to shock and amuse, its figures imbued with equal veracity in both their warmth and detachment. As a film, it isn't amongst Fuller's very best, but its unaffected authenticity is unmatched.
One of the best war movies I have ever seen and quite possibly my all-time favorite Sam Fuller film (which is saying something). The direction is often spectacular, but what stands out to me most is Fuller's amazing script. The writing is so good, easily shifting between intense battle sequences and intimate, bittersweet moments among the comrades. Great stuff, one of the greatest films of the 1980s.
Though the production values may be a tad lackluster (Fuller was forced a very low budget), his trademark taut filmmaking pulls it through to be not only one of the best movies Fuller, and any else, ever made. Tense, expertly-staged battle scenes; great moments of authentic, absurd humor; and quiet scenes of understated, powerful emotion - not to mention the legendary Lee Marvin in maybe his best performance.