Full Metal Jacket

Natant / Stanley Kubrick Productions / Warner Bros. Released 1987




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Movie Summary

Stanley Kubrick

Marine recruits endure the grueling ordeal of basic training and later face the unrelenting Viet Cong during the 1968 Tet Offensive in this grim drama. One of the most authentic depictions of warfare ever put on the big screen, the film teems with howling madness, stark images and troubling questions about duty, honor and sacrifice.


Metacritic Score

  • 100

    The New York Times

    Kubrick's harrowing, beautiful and characteristically eccentric new film about Vietnam, is going to puzzle, anger and (I hope) fascinate audiences as much as any film he has made t...

  • 90


    An intense, schematic, superbly made Vietnam War drama.

  • 63

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The footage on the Paris Island obstacle course is powerful. But Full Metal Jacket is uncertain where to go, and the movie's climax, which Kubrick obviously intends to be a mighty ...

Matthew Modine

Matthew Modine

Pvt. J.T. 'Joker' Davis

Adam Baldwin

Adam Baldwin

Animal Mother

Vincent D'Onofrio

Vincent D'Onofrio

Pvt. Leonard 'Gomer Pyle' Lawrence

R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey

Gny. Sgt. Hartman

Dorian Harewood

Dorian Harewood


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Mickey Mouse is referred to at the end of both segments: when Hartmann enters the head to confront Joker and Pyle, he cries "What is this Mickey Mouse shit?" ("Mickey Mouse" was GI slang for something - or someone - that was petty, stupid and senseless); and Joker and company sing the theme from The Mickey Mouse Club as they march through the burning city. A third Mickey Mouse reference is in the press room: a Mickey Mouse figure can be seen near the window behind Pvt. Joker.

    • Arnold Schwarzenegger turned down the role of Animal Mother in order to star in The Running Man.

    • If you pay attention to Joker's uniform collar throughout the movie, you'll notice that he starts out as a Private and by then end of the movie he is a Sergeant.

    • For the final battle of Hue, 200 pine trees were imported from Spain and a few thousand tropical plastic plants were imported from Hong Kong. Plastic trees had previously been flown in from California, but upon seeing them, Stanley Kubrick reportedly said: "I don't like it. Get rid of it."

    • The Vietnam sequences of the film were shot first, the Parris Island scenes second. The graduation of the recruits was the last scene shot.

    • The banner at the wall in the conference room at the Da Nang base reads: "First to go last to know - We will defend to the death your right to be misinformed".

    • His shirt on Parris Island reveals that Pvt. Joker's real name is J.T. Davis. This is a deliberate reference to Spec. James T. Davis, the first officially recognized U.S. casualty in Vietnam, who was killed in 1961.

    • Advertisements for this film were censored in some parts of Canada due to the tagline "In Vietnam the wind doesn't blow, it sucks." At that time, Canadian censors had not yet decided whether the phrase "it sucks" (or "this sucks") was obscene.

    • Much, if not all, of R. Lee Ermey's dialogue during the Paris Island sequence was improvised. While filming the opening scene, where he disciplines Pvt. Cowboy, he says Cowboy is the type of guy who would have sex with another guy "and not even have the goddamned common courtesy to give him a reach-around". Stanley Kubrick immediately yelled cut and went over to Ermey and asked, "What the hell is a reach-around?" Ermey politely explained what it meant. Kubrick laughed and re-shot the scene, telling Ermey to keep the line.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (6)

    • Production budget - $30,000,000
      Domestic gross - $46,357,676 (23rd)

      Domestic adjusted for 2013 - $96,746,454

    • Other production companies:
      Columbia-Cannon-Warner (UK distributor)

    • Filming locations:
      Norfolk Broads, Norfolk, England
      Bassingbourn Barracks, Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, England
      Beckton Gasworks, Beckton, London, England
      Dorset, England
      Epping Forest, Essex, England
      Isle of Dogs, London, England
      Parris Island, South Carolina
      Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England
      RAF Swinderby, Swinderby, Linconshire, England

    • Taglines:
      1. Born to Kill.
      2. An Epic Story of the Vietnam War.
      3. In Vietnam The Wind Doesn't Blow It Sucks.
      4. One rifle, one gun. One for killing, one for fun.
      5. Vietnam can kill me, but it can't make me care.
      6. Acclaimed by critics as the best war movie ever mad.

    • Music:
      Hello Vietnam
      Written by Tom T. Hall
      Performed by Johnny Wright
      These Boots Are Made For Walkin'
      Written by Lee Hazlewood
      Performed by Nancy Sinatra
      Wooly Bully
      Written by Domingo Samudio
      Performed by Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs
      The Marines Hymn
      Music by Jacques Offenbach from "Geneviève de Brabant"
      Performed by The Goldman Band
      Chapel Of Love
      Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector
      Performed by The Dixie Cups
      Surfin' Bird
      Written by A. Frazier, C. White, T. Wilson Jr. and J. Harris
      Performed by The Trashmen
      Paint It, Black
      Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
      Performed by The Rolling Stones
      Mickey Mouse Club March
      Written by Jimmie Dodd

    • Academy Awards Nomination:
      1. Adapted Screenplay


More Info About This Movie


Military & War