The Big Red One: Reconstruction (image 1)

Visually and philosophically it's Fuller's equivalent of Kurosawa's Kagemusha, although Fuller's film is more complex, more absurd and more haunted.

Tony Raynes, Time Out

Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

The Big Red One: Reconstruction 1980

Directed by Samuel Fuller

USA In English
159 minutes 35mm

Director

Producer

Gene Corman

Reconstruction producer

Richard Schickel

Photography

Adam Greenberg

Editor

Morton Tubor

Reconstruction editor

Bryan McKenzie

Music

Dana Kaproff

With

Lee Marvin
,
Mark Hamill
,
Robert Carradine
,
Bobby Di Cicco
,
Kelly Ward
,
Stéphane Audran
,
Siegfried Rauch

Elsewhere

When the legendary Sam Fuller completed his epic The Big Red One in 1980 it was widely considered a dinosaur. In the shadow of Vietnam, The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now were the war movies of the day. Even his star, the great Lee Marvin, seemed an anachronism beside the prevalent view of miltary man as naplam-inhaling psychopath. So Fuller's great war testament was drastically cut. Though it had its admirers, the filmmaker went to his grave nursing bitter disappointment that his most personal film was forever lost.

Now, drawing on Fuller's shooting script and the corresponding footage in Warner Bros vaults, critic, historian and filmmaker Richard Schickel has come as close to reconstituting Fuller's originally intended film as is humanly possible. The result, premiered, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day, on the closing day of this year's Cannes Film Festival, is a major revelation. — BG