Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 war film directed, co-written, and produced by Stanley Kubrick and starring Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio and Adam Baldwin. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford's novel The Short-Timers (1979). The storyline follows a platoon of U.S. Marines through their training, primarily focusing on two privates, Joker and Pyle, who struggle to get through boot camp under their abusive drill instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, and the experiences of two of the platoon's Marines in the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War. The film's title refers to the full metal jacket bullet used by soldiers. The film was released in the United States on June 26, 1987. It was the last of Kubrick's films to be released during his lifetime.

Full Metal Jacket received critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for Kubrick, Herr, and Hasford.[5] In 2001, the American Film Institute placed it at No. 95 in their "AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills" poll.[6]

Full Metal Jacket
Against a white backdrop is a camouflaged military helmet with "Born to Kill" written on it, a peace sign attached to it, and a row of bullets lined up inside the helmet strap. Above the helmet are the words, "In Vietnam the wind doesn't blow it sucks."
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStanley Kubrick
Produced byStanley Kubrick
Screenplay by
Based onThe Short-Timers
by Gustav Hasford
Music byAbigail Mead
CinematographyDouglas Milsome
Edited byMartin Hunter
Distributed by
Release date
  • June 17, 1987 (Beverly Hills)
  • June 26, 1987 (United States)
  • September 11, 1987 (United Kingdom)
Running time
116 minutes[1]
  • United Kingdom
  • United States[2]
Budget$30 million[3]
Box office$120 million[4]


During the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War, a group of Marine Corps recruits arrive at Parris Island, South Carolina, for boot camp. The ruthless drill instructor, Hartman, employs forceful methods to turn the recruits into combat-ready Marines. Among the recruits are privates "Joker", "Cowboy", "Snowball", and the overweight and dim-witted Leonard Lawrence, whom Hartman nicknames "Gomer Pyle".

Pyle is initially inept at basic training and is the focus of Hartman's brutality, but he slowly improves after being paired with Joker. However, when Hartman discovers a contraband doughnut in Pyle's unlocked foot locker, he adopts a collective punishment policy, punishing the rest of the platoon for Pyle's mistakes instead of punishing Pyle himself. One night, the recruits haze Pyle with a blanket party; Joker reluctantly participates. Following this incident, Pyle reinvents himself as a model recruit and shows particular expertise in marksmanship. This impresses Hartman, but worries Joker, who notices Pyle talking to his rifle and believes that he may be suffering a mental breakdown.

The recruits graduate and receive their Military Occupational Specialty assignments. Joker is assigned to Military Journalism, while most of the others – including Cowboy and Pyle – are assigned to Infantry. During the platoon's final night on Parris Island, Joker discovers Pyle in the bathroom suffering from a mental breakdown while loading his rifle. Pyle executes drill commands and loudly recites the Rifleman's Creed, waking the others, including Hartman, who storms into the bathroom, insults Pyle and orders him to surrender the rifle. Pyle shoots Hartman dead and then kills himself, while Joker watches in horror.

In January 1968, Joker – now a sergeant – is a war correspondent in South Vietnam for Stars and Stripes with Private First Class Rafterman, a combat photographer. Rafterman wants to go into combat, as Joker claims he has. At the Marine base, Joker is mocked for his lack of the thousand-yard stare, indicating his lack of war experience. They are interrupted by the start of the Tet Offensive as the North Vietnamese Army unsuccessfully attempts to overrun the base.

The following day, the journalism staff is briefed about enemy attacks throughout South Vietnam. Joker is sent to Phu Bai, accompanied by Rafterman. They meet the Lusthog Squad, where Joker is reunited with Cowboy. Joker accompanies the squad during the Battle of Huế, where platoon commander "Touchdown" is killed by the enemy. After the Marines declare the area secure, a team of American news journalists and reporters enter Huế and interviews various Marines about their experiences in Vietnam and their opinions about the war.

While patrolling Huế, Crazy Earl, the squad leader, is killed by a booby trap, leaving Cowboy in command. The squad becomes lost, and Cowboy orders Eightball to scout the area. A Viet Cong sniper wounds Eightball and Doc Jay, the squad medic. Cowboy learns that tank support is unavailable and orders the team to prepare for withdrawal. The squad's machine gunner, "Animal Mother", disobeys Cowboy and attempts to save his comrades. He discovers there is only one sniper, but Doc Jay and Eightball are killed when Doc Jay attempts to indicate the sniper's location. While maneuvering toward the sniper, Cowboy is shot and killed.

Animal Mother assumes command of the squad and leads an attack on the sniper. Joker discovers the sniper, a teenage girl, and attempts to shoot her, but his rifle jams and alerts her to his presence. Rafterman shoots the sniper, mortally wounding her. As the squad converges, the sniper first prays and then begs for death saying "shoot me, shoot me" prompting an argument about whether or not to kill her or "Let her rot" said by Animal Mother. Animal Mother decides to allow a mercy killing only if Joker performs it. After some hesitation, Joker shoots her. The Marines congratulate him on his kill as Joker stares into the distance. The Marines march toward their camp, singing the "Mickey Mouse March". Joker states in narration that despite being "in a world of shit", he is glad to be alive and is no longer afraid.


  • Matthew Modine as Private J. T. "Joker" Davis: A wise-cracking young recruit. Modine kept a diary on set, which was later adapted into a book in 2005 and eventually an interactive app in 2013.[7]
  • Vincent D'Onofrio as Private Leonard "Gomer Pyle" Lawrence: An over-weight and slow-minded recruit who is the subject of Hartman's mockery. D'Onofrio heard of the auditions for the film from Matthew Modine. Using a rented video camera and dressed in army fatigues, D'Onofrio recorded his audition. Despite Kubrick's saying that Pyle was "the hardest part to cast in the whole movie", he quickly responded to D'Onofrio, telling the actor that he had won the part.[8] D'Onofrio was required to gain 70 pounds (32 kg).[9][10]
  • Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: A Parris Island drill instructor. Ermey served as a U.S. Marine drill instructor during the Vietnam War and used this experience to ad lib much of his dialogue.[11][12]
  • Adam Baldwin as Animal Mother: A combat-hungry machine gunner who takes pride with killing enemy soldiers. Arnold Schwarzenegger was first considered for the role, but he turned it down in favor of The Running Man.[13]
  • Arliss Howard as Private Cowboy (later a Sergeant who assumes leadership of the platoon after Crazy Earl is killed).
  • Kevyn Major Howard as Rafterman, combat photographer.
  • Dorian Harewood as Eightball, a member of the squad.
  • Tim Colceri as Doorgunner: A ruthless helicopter door gunner who suggests that Joker and Rafterman write a story about him.[14] Colceri, a former Marine, was originally slated to play Hartman, a role which ultimately fell to Ermey. Kubrick instead gave him a smaller role as a helicopter door gunner.[15]

Additional characters include: Peter Edmund as Private "Snowball" Brown, one of the Parris Island recruits; Ed O'Ross as Lieutenant Walter J. "Touchdown" Schinoski, the platoon leader of the Lusthog Squad; John Terry as Lieutenant Lockhart, the editor of Stars and Stripes; Kieron Jecchinis as Crazy Earl, a member and also a former leader of the Lusthog Squad; Jon Stafford as Doc Jay, head medic of the Lusthog Squad and Bruce Boa as Poge Colonel, the colonel who dresses down Joker for wearing a peace symbol on his lapel.

Ian Tyler plays Lieutenant Cleves, a Marine interviewed by Joker and Rafterman at a Vietnamese murder site. Sal Lopez and Gary Landon Mills appear as T. H. E. Rock and Donlon respectively, two members of the Lusthog Squad. Papillon Soo Soo plays a Da Nang hooker and Ngoc Le appears as the Viet Cong sniper. Stanley Kubrick and his daughter Vivian make uncredited appearances as two photographers at a Vietnam massacre site.



Kubrick contacted Michael Herr, author of the Vietnam War memoir Dispatches (1977), in the spring of 1980 to discuss working on a film about the Holocaust, but he eventually discarded that in favor of a film about the Vietnam War.[16] They met in England, and the director told Herr that he wanted to do a war film but had yet to find a story to adapt.[8] Kubrick discovered Gustav Hasford's novel The Short-Timers (1979) while reading the Virginia Kirkus Review.[17] Herr received it in bound galleys and thought that it was a masterpiece.[8] In 1982, Kubrick read the novel twice, concluding that it "was a unique, absolutely wonderful book", and decided, along with Herr,[16] to adapt it for his next film.[17] According to Kubrick, he was drawn to the book's dialogue, finding it "almost poetic in its carved-out, stark quality".[17] In 1983, Kubrick began conducting research for the film, watching past footage and documentaries, reading Vietnamese newspapers on microfilm from the Library of Congress, and studying hundreds of photographs from the era.[18] Initially, Herr was not interested in revisiting his Vietnam War experiences, and Kubrick spent three years persuading him to participate in what the author describes as "a single phone call lasting three years, with interruptions".[16]

In 1985, Kubrick contacted Hasford to work on the screenplay with him and Herr,[8] and often talked to Hasford on the phone three to four times a week, for hours at a time.[19] Kubrick had already written a detailed treatment,[8] and Kubrick and Herr got together at Kubrick's home every day, breaking down the treatment into scenes. From that, Herr wrote the first draft.[8] The filmmaker worried that the book's title might be misread by audiences as referring to people who only did half a day's work and changed it to Full Metal Jacket after discovering the phrase while going through a gun catalogue.[8] After the first draft was completed, Kubrick phoned in his orders, and Hasford and Herr mailed their submissions to him.[20] Kubrick read and edited them, and then the team repeated the process. Neither Hasford nor Herr knew how much he had contributed to the screenplay, which led to a dispute over the final credits.[20] Hasford remembers, "We were like guys on an assembly line in the car factory. I was putting on one widget and Michael was putting on another widget and Stanley was the only one who knew that this was going to end up being a car."[20] Herr says the director was not interested in making an anti-war film, but "he wanted to show what war is like".[16]

At some point, Kubrick wanted to meet Hasford in person, but Herr advised against this, describing The Short-Timers author as a "scary man" and believing he and Kubrick would not "get on".[16] Nonetheless, Kubrick insisted, and they all met at Kubrick's house in England for dinner. It did not go well, and Hasford did not meet with Kubrick again.[16]


Through Warner Bros., Kubrick advertised a national casting search in the United States and Canada. The director used videotape to audition actors and received over 3,000 submissions. His staff screened all of the tapes, leaving 800 of them for Kubrick to review personally.[8]:461

Former U.S. Marine Drill Instructor Ermey, originally hired as a technical advisor, asked Kubrick if he could audition for the role of Hartman. Kubrick had seen Ermey's portrayal of drill instructor Staff Sergeant Loyce in The Boys in Company C (1978) and told the Marine that he was not vicious enough to play the character. Ermey improvised insulting dialogue against a group of Royal Marines who were being considered for the part of background Marines, to demonstrate his ability to play the character, as well as to show how a drill instructor goes about breaking down the individuality of new recruits.[8]:462 Upon viewing the videotape of these sessions, Kubrick gave Ermey the role, realizing he "was a genius for this part".[18] Kubrick also incorporated the 250-page transcript of Ermey's rants into the script.[8]:462–463 Ermey's experience as a drill instructor during the Vietnam era proved invaluable. Kubrick estimated that Ermey wrote 50% of his own dialogue, especially the insults.[21]

While Ermey practiced his lines in a rehearsal room, Kubrick’s assistant Leon Vitali would throw tennis balls and oranges at him. Ermey had to catch the ball and throw it back as quickly as possible, while at the same time saying his lines as fast as he could. Any hesitation, slur, or missed line would necessitate starting over. Twenty error-free runs were required. "[He] was my drill instructor", Ermey said of Vitali.[8]:463

The original casting plan envisaged Anthony Michael Hall starring as Private Joker. After eight months of negotiations, a deal between Kubrick and Hall fell through.[22] Kubrick offered Bruce Willis a role, but the actor had to turn it down because he was to start filming of the first six episodes of his TV series Moonlighting.[23]


Kubrick shot the film in England: in Cambridgeshire, on the Norfolk Broads, and at the former Millennium Mills, Beckton Gas Works, Newham (east London) and the Isle of Dogs.[24] A former RAF and then British Army base, Bassingbourn Barracks doubled as the Parris Island Marine boot camp.[18] A British Army rifle range near Barton, outside Cambridge, was used in the scene where Hartman congratulates Private Pyle for his shooting skills. Kubrick worked from still photographs of Huế, taken in 1968, and found an area owned by British Gas that closely resembled it and was scheduled to be demolished. The disused Beckton Gas Works, a few miles from central London, were filmed to represent Huế after attacks.[21] Kubrick had buildings blown up, and the film's art director used a wrecking ball to knock specific holes in certain buildings over the course of two months.[21] Originally, Kubrick had a plastic replica jungle flown in from California, but once he looked at it he was reported to have said, "I don't like it. Get rid of it".[25] The open country was filmed in the Cliffe marshes,[26] and along the River Thames, supplemented with 200 imported Spanish palm trees[17] and 100,000 plastic tropical plants from Hong Kong.[21]

Kubrick acquired four M41 tanks from a Belgian army colonel who was an admirer of the director's work,[27] and Westland Wessex helicopters painted Marine green to represent Marine Corps Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw helicopters. Although the Wessex was a licensed derivative of the Sikorsky H-34, the Wessex substituted two gas turbine engines for the H-34's radial (piston) engine. This resulted in a much longer and less rounded nose than that of the Vietnam era H-34. Kubrick also obtained a selection of rifles, M79 grenade launchers, and M60 machine guns from a licensed weapons dealer.[18]

Modine described the shoot as difficult: Beckton Gas Works was a toxic and environmental nightmare for the entire film crew. Asbestos and hundreds of other chemicals poisoned the ground and air. Modine documents details of shooting at Beckton in his book, Full Metal Jacket Diary (2005). During the "Boot Camp" sequence of the film, Modine and the other recruits had to endure the rigors of Marine Corps training, including having Ermey yelling at them for 10 hours a day during the shooting of the Parris Island scenes. To ensure the actors' reactions to Ermey were as authentic and fresh as possible, Ermey and the recruits did not rehearse together.[8]:468 For film continuity, each recruit had to have his head shaved once a week.[28]

At one point during filming, Ermey had a car accident, broke all of his ribs on one side, and was out for four-and-half months.[21]

Cowboy's death scene shows a building in the background that resembles the famous alien monolith in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Kubrick described the resemblance as an "extraordinary accident".[21]

During filming, Hasford contemplated taking legal action over the writing credits. Originally, the filmmakers intended for Hasford to receive an "additional dialogue" credit, but he fought for and eventually received full credit.[20] The writer took two friends and visited the set dressed as extras, only to be mistaken by a crew member for Herr when Hasford identified himself as the writer whose work the film was based on.[19]

Kubrick's daughter Vivian—who appears uncredited as a news-camera operator at the mass grave—shadowed the filming of Full Metal Jacket. She shot 18 hours of behind-the-scenes footage for a potential "making-of" documentary similar to her earlier film documentary on Kubrick's The Shining (1980), but in this case did not make the film. Snippets of her work can be seen in the documentary Stanley Kubrick's Boxes (2008).


Born to Kill helmet
Helmet prop from the film

Compared to Kubrick's other works, the themes of Full Metal Jacket have received little attention from critics and reviewers. Michael Pursell's essay "Full Metal Jacket: The Unravelling of Patriarchy" (1988) was an early, in-depth consideration of the film's two-part structure and its criticism of masculinity, arguing that the film shows "war and pornography as facets of the same system".[29]

Most reviews have focused on military brainwashing themes in the boot camp training section of the film, while seeing the latter half of the film as more confusing and disjointed in content. Rita Kempley of The Washington Post wrote, "it's as if they borrowed bits of every war movie to make this eclectic finale."[30] Roger Ebert said, "The movie disintegrates into a series of self-contained set pieces, none of them quite satisfying."[31] Julian Rice, in his book Kubrick's Hope (2008), sees the second part of the film as continuing the psychic journey of Joker in trying to come to grips with human evil.[32]

Tony Lucia, in his July 5, 1987, review of Full Metal Jacket for the Reading Eagle, looked at the themes of Kubrick's career, suggesting "the unifying element may be the ordinary man dwarfed by situations too vast and imposing to handle". Lucia specifically refers to the "military mentality" in this film. He said further that the theme covered "a man testing himself against his own limitations", and he concluded: "Full Metal Jacket is the latest chapter in an ongoing movie which is not merely a comment on our time or a time past, but on something that reaches beyond."[33]

British critic Gilbert Adair wrote: "Kubrick's approach to language has always been reductive and uncompromisingly deterministic in nature. He appears to view it as the exclusive product of environmental conditioning, only very marginally influenced by concepts of subjectivity and interiority, by all the whims, shades and modulations of personal expression".[34]

Michael Herr wrote of his work on the screenplay: "The substance was single-minded, the old and always serious problem of how you put into a film or a book the living, behaving presence of what Jung called The Shadow, the most accessible of archetypes, and the easiest to experience ... War is the ultimate field of Shadow-activity, where all of its other activities lead you. As they expressed it in Vietnam, 'Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no Evil, for I am the Evil'."[35]

In a 2009 review, Dan Schneider alleged that Kubrick took the cinematic idea of a recruit being broken down in boot camp and driven to suicide from the epic film series The Human Condition (1959–1961).[36]


Kubrick's daughter Vivian Kubrick, under the alias "Abigail Mead", wrote the film's score. According to an interview, which appeared in the January 1988 issue of Keyboard, the film was scored mostly with a Fairlight CMI synthesizer (the then-current Series III edition) and a Synclavier. For the period music, Kubrick went through Billboard's list of Top 100 Hits for each year from 1962 to 1968 and tried many songs, but "sometimes the dynamic range of the music was too great, and we couldn't work in dialogue".[21]

A single "Full Metal Jacket (I Wanna Be Your Drill Instructor)", credited to Mead and Nigel Goulding, was released to promote the film. It incorporates Ermey's drill cadences from the film. The single reached number two in the UK pop charts.[37]


Box office

Full Metal Jacket received a limited release on June 26, 1987, in 215 theaters.[3] Its opening weekend saw it accrue $2,217,307, an average of $10,313 per theater, ranking it the number 10 film for the June 26–28 weekend.[3] It took a further $2,002,890 for a total of $5,655,225 before entering wide release on July 10, 1987, at 881 theaters—an increase of 666.[3] The July 10–12 weekend saw the film gross $6,079,963, an average of $6,901 per theater, and rank as the number 2 grossing film. Over the next four weeks the film opened in a further 194 theaters to its widest release of 1,075 theaters before closing two weeks later with a total gross of $46,357,676, making it the number 23 highest-grossing film of 1987.[3][38] As of 1998, the film had grossed $120 million worldwide.[4]

Home media

The film was released on Blu-ray on October 23, 2007, in the US and other countries.[39] Warner Home Video released the 25th anniversary edition on Blu-ray on August 7, 2012.[40]

Critical reception

R. Lee Ermey (pictured) was praised by several critics for his performance as Hartman.

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively collected reviews to give the film a score of 91% based on reviews from 78 critics and an average rating of 8.3/10. The summary states, "Intense, tightly constructed, and darkly comic at times, Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket may not boast the most original of themes, but it is exceedingly effective at communicating them."[41][42] Another aggregator Metacritic gave it a score of 76 out of 100, which indicates a "generally favorable" response, based on 19 reviews.[43] Reviewers generally reacted favorably to the cast, Ermey in particular,[44][45] and the film's first act in recruit training,[46][47] but several reviews were critical of the latter part of the film set in Vietnam and what was considered a "muddled" moral message in the finale.[48][31] It ranks No. 95 on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills.[49]

Richard Corliss of Time called the film a "technical knockout", praising "the dialogue's wild, desperate wit; the daring in choosing a desultory skirmish to make a point about war's pointlessness", and "the fine, large performances of almost every actor", believing, at the time, that Ermey and D'Onofrio would receive Oscar nominations. Corliss also appreciated "the Olympian elegance and precision of Kubrick's filmmaking".[44] Empire's Ian Nathan awarded the film 3 out of 5 stars, saying it is "inconsistent" and describing it as "both powerful and frustratingly unengaged". Nathan felt that after leaving the opening act following the recruit training, the film becomes "bereft of purpose", but he summarized his review by calling it a "hardy Kubrickian effort that warms on you with repeated viewings". Nathan also praised Ermey's "staggering performance".[47] Vincent Canby of The New York Times called it "harrowing, beautiful and characteristically eccentric". Canby echoed praise for Ermey, calling him "the film's stunning surprise ... he's so good—so obsessed—that you might think he wrote his own lines". Canby also said D'Onofrio's performance should be admired, and he called Modine "one of the best, most adaptable young film actors of his generation". Canby concluded: Full Metal Jacket was "a film of immense and very rare imagination".[50]

Jim Hall, writing for Film4 in 2010, awarded the film 5 out of 5 stars and added to the praise for Ermey, saying his "performance as the foul-mouthed Hartman is justly celebrated and it's difficult to imagine the film working anything like as effectively without him". The review also preferred the opening training to the later Vietnam sequence, calling it "far more striking than the second and longer section". Film4 commented that the film ends abruptly but felt "it demonstrates just how clear and precise the director's vision could be when he resisted a fatal tendency for indulgence". Film4 concluded: "Full Metal Jacket ranks with Dr. Strangelove as one of Kubrick's very best."[46] Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader called it "Elliptical, full of subtle inner rhymes … and profoundly moving, this is the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since Dr. Strangelove, as well as the most horrific."[51] Variety called the film an "intense, schematic, superbly made" drama "loaded with vivid, outrageously vulgar military vernacular that contributes heavily to the film's power", but felt that it never develops "a particularly strong narrative." The cast performances were all labeled "exceptional" with Modine being singled out as "embodying both what it takes to survive in the war and a certain omniscience."[45] Gilbert Adair, writing in a review for Full Metal Jacket, commented that "Kubrick's approach to language has always been of a reductive and uncompromisingly deterministic nature. He appears to view it as the exclusive product of environmental conditioning, only very marginally influenced by concepts of subjectivity and interiority, by all whims, shades and modulations of personal expression".[52]

Not all reviews were positive. Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert held a dissenting view, calling the film "strangely shapeless" and awarding it 2.5 stars out of 4. Ebert called it "one of the best-looking war movies ever made on sets and stage" but felt this was not enough to compete with the "awesome reality of Platoon, Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter." Ebert also criticized the film's second act set in Vietnam, saying the "movie disintegrates into a series of self-contained set pieces, none of them quite satisfying" and concluded that the film's message was "too little and too late", having been done by other Vietnam War films. However, Ebert also gave praise to Ermey and D'Onofrio, saying "these are the two best performances in the movie, which never recovers after they leave the scene."[31] This review angered Gene Siskel on their television show At The Movies; he criticized Ebert for liking Benji the Hunted (which came out the same week) more than Full Metal Jacket.[53] Their difference in opinion was parodied on the television show The Critic, where Siskel taunts Ebert with "coming from the guy who liked Benji the Hunted!"[54] Time Out London also disliked the film saying "Kubrick's direction is as steely cold and manipulative as the régime it depicts", and felt that the characters were underdeveloped, adding "we never really get to know, let alone care about, the hapless recruits on view."[48]

British television channel Channel 4 voted it number 5 on its list of the greatest war films ever made.[55] In 2008, Empire placed Full Metal Jacket number 457 on its list of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.[56]


Full Metal Jacket was nominated for eleven awards worldwide between 1987 and 1989 including an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay,[57][58] two BAFTA Awards for Best Sound and Best Special Effects,[59] and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for Ermey.[60] Ultimately it won five awards, three from organisations outside of the United States: Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The film won Best Foreign Language Film from the Japanese Academy, Best Producer from the David di Donatello Awards,[61] Director of the Year from the London Critics Circle Film Awards, and Best Director and Best Supporting Actor from the Boston Society of Film Critics Awards, for Kubrick and Ermey respectively.[62] Of the five awards won, four were awarded to Kubrick.

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
1987 BAFTA Awards Best Sound Nigel Galt, Edward Tise and Andy Nelson Nominated [59]
Best Special Effects John Evans Nominated [59]
1988 60th Academy Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Stanley Kubrick, Michael Herr and Gustav Hasford Nominated [57][58]
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Director Stanley Kubrick Won [62]
Best Supporting Actor R. Lee Ermey Won
David di Donatello Awards Best Producer – Foreign film Stanley Kubrick Won [61]
Golden Globes Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture R. Lee Ermey Nominated [60]
London Critics Circle Film Awards Director of the Year Stanley Kubrick Won
Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay Stanley Kubrick, Michael Herr, Gustav Hasford Nominated
1989 Kinema Junpo Awards Best Foreign Language Film Director Stanley Kubrick Won
Awards of the Japanese Academy Best Foreign Language Film Stanley Kubrick Nominated

Differences between novel and screenplay

Adaptation of novel to film

Film scholar Greg Jenkins has done a detailed analysis of the adaptation of the novel as a screenplay. The novel is in three parts. The film greatly expands the relatively brief section in Part I, about the boot camp on Parris Island, and essentially discards Part III. This gives the film a twofold structure, telling two largely independent stories connected by the same characters acting in each. Jenkins believes this structure is a development of concepts that Kubrick has had since the 1960s. At that time, Kubrick talked about wanting to explode the usual conventions of narrative structure.[63]

Sergeant Hartman (renamed from the book's Gerheim) has an expanded role in the film. In the film, Private Pyle's incompetence is presented as weighing negatively on the rest of the platoon and in the film, unlike the novel, he is the only under-performing recruit. [64] The film omits "Hartman's" disclosure to other troops that he thinks Pyle might be mentally unstable, a "Section 8". In contrast, Hartman praises Pyle, saying that he is "born again hard". Jenkins says that the character of Hartman could not have been portrayed as having a warmer social relationship with the troops, as that would have upset the balance of the film, which depends on the spectacle of ordinary soldiers coming to grips with Hartman as a force of nature embodying a killer culture.[65]

Various episodes in the book have been cut from the screenplay or conflated with others. For example, Cowboy's introduction of the "Lusthog Squad" has been both markedly shortened and supplemented by material from other sections of the book. Although the book's final, third section was largely dropped, elements from this section were inserted into other episodes of the film.[66] For instance, the climactic episode with the sniper is a conflation of two episodes in the book, from Parts II and III. Jenkins thinks the film presents this passage more dramatically but in less gruesome detail than in the novel.

The film often has a more tragic tone than the book, which relies on callous humor. Joker in the film remains a model of humane thinking, as evidenced by his moral struggle in the sniper episode and elsewhere. He works to overcome his own meekness, rather than to compete with other Marines. The film omits the book's showing his eventual domination over Animal Mother.[67]

The film also omits the death of the character Rafterman. Jenkins believed this allowed viewers to reflect on Rafterman's personal growth in the film and speculate on his future growth after the war. Jenkins also believed Rafterman's death would not have fit the plot of the screenplay.[66]

In popular culture

The line of dialog "Me so horny. Me love you long time," uttered by the Da Nang street prostitute (played by Papillon Soo Soo) to Joker (Modine) became a catchphrase in popular culture[68][69] after it was sampled by rap artists 2 Live Crew in their 1990 hit "Me So Horny" and by Sir Mix-A-Lot in "Baby Got Back" (1992).[70][71]

See also


  1. ^ "FULL METAL JACKET". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
  2. ^ "Full Metal Jacket (1987)". British Film Institute. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Full Metal Jacket (1987)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Kubrick Keeps 'em in Dark with 'Eyes Wide Shut'". L.A. Times. September 29, 1998. p. 2.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "AFI'S 100 Most Thrilling American Films". afi.com. American Film Institute. Retrieved August 19, 2016. 2001
  7. ^ "Full Metal Jacket Diary: A Q&A with Matthew Modine". Unframed. March 4, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l LoBrutto, Vincent (1997). "Stanley Kubrick". Donald I. Fine Books.
  9. ^ Bennetts, Leslie (July 10, 1987). "The Trauma of Being a Kubrick Marine". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2009.
  10. ^ Harrington, Amy (October 19, 2009). "Stars Who Lose and Gain Weight for Movie Roles". Fox News Channel. Retrieved October 23, 2011.
  11. ^ Full Metal Jacket Additional Material. Blu-ray/DVD.
  12. ^ Andrews, Travis, M. (April 17, 2018). "How R. Lee Ermey created his memorable Full citationMetal neededJacket role". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved April 28, 2018.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Stice, Joel (July 31, 2014). "9 Famous Roles Almost Played By Arnold Schwarzenegger". Uproxx. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  14. ^ "Full Metal Jacket (1987) -- Tim Colceri: Doorgunner". IMDb. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  15. ^ Lyttelton, Oliver (August 7, 2012). "5 Things You Might Not Know About Stanley Kubrick's 'Full Metal Jacket'". Indie Wire. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
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Further reading

  • Duncan, Paul (2003). Stanley Kubrick: The Complete Films. Taschen GmbH. ISBN 978-3836527750.
  • Kubrick, Stanley (1987). Full Metal Jacket. Knopf. ISBN 978-0394758237.
  • Modine, Matthew (2005). Full Metal Jacket Diary. Rugged Land. ISBN 978-1590710470.

External links

.223 Remington

The .223 Remington is a rifle cartridge developed in 1957, for the ArmaLite AR-15. In 1964, the ArmaLite AR-15 was adopted by the United States Army as the M16 rifle and it would later become the standard U.S. Military rifle. The military version of the cartridge uses a 55 gr full metal jacket bullet and was designated M193. In 1980, the .223 Remington was transformed into a new cartridge, a 62 gr full metal jacket bullet with a seven grain steel core for better penetration and designated 5.56×45mm NATO (a.k.a.: SS109 or M855).


The 10.15×61 mmR cartridge was designed by a joint Swedish-Norwegian rifle commission in the late 1870s and early 1880s, and approved for use in Sweden and Norway in 1881. It was primarily used by Norway in the Model 1884 Jarmann rifle, but also saw limited use in Sweden in the m/1867-84 rolling block rifle and carbine ("kammarskjutningsgevär m/1884" and "kammarskjutningskarbin m/1884", which were primarily used for gallery shooting, that is short range training). It is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge, and was initially loaded with black powder and a lead bullet wrapped in paper. Later cartridges were loaded with smokeless powder and had a lead bullet coated in steel (Full metal jacket, or FMJ).

The earliest version had a load of 4.46 g of black powder, and a projectile weighing 21.85 g. This gave a muzzle velocity of 500 m/s. The later version, with a full metal jacket, was loaded to produce the same muzzle velocity.

All in all, more than 3 million cartridges were manufactured for military use in Norway, as well as more than 2 million ordered from abroad. The majority of these were sold with the Jarmann rifles when the Norwegian Army introduced the Krag–Jørgensen.

The following variations on the 10.15x61mmR cartridge have been identified:

10.15 Ball, rounded tip, lead bullet wrapped in paper, black powder (possible just used for tests)

10.15 mm Ball, flat tip, lead bullet wrapped in paper, black powder

10.15 mm Ball, flat tip, full metal jacket, smokeless powder

10.15 mm Gallery, round lead bullet (for use indoor / short rangers)

10.15 mm Gallery, same as above but with a ring crimped around the neck of the case

10.15 mm Blank, unpainted wooden 'bullet', smooth case

10.15 mm Blank, same as above but with six long ridges pressed into the case

10.15 mm Blank, same as above but with six long and six short ridges pressed into the case

10.15 mm Dummy, red wooden 'bullet' going all the way to the bottom of the case, six long and six short ridges pressed into the case and two rings crimped around the neck of the case.

10.15 mm Dummy, as above but with just the six long ridges and rings around the neck.

10.15 mm Dummy, as above but with brown wooden 'bullet' and two rings crimped around the neck of the case (tests only).

10.15 mm Harpoon round, a blank round crimped shut, used only in the M28 harpoon gun.

10.15 mm Harpoon round, as above but closed with a crimped lid.

Adam Baldwin

Adam Baldwin (born February 27, 1962) is an American actor and voice actor. He starred in Full Metal Jacket (1987) as Animal Mother, as well as in the television series Firefly and its continuation film Serenity as Jayne Cobb. His roles include Stillman in Ordinary People (1980), Colonel John Casey in Chuck, and Mike Slattery in The Last Ship.


Charlene may refer to:

Charlene (given name), people with the given name Charlene

Charlene (singer), an American singer, commonly associated with her hit single I've Never Been to Me

Charlene, the rifle of character Gomer Pyle in Stanley Kubrick's film Full Metal Jacket

Ed O'Ross

Ed O'Ross (born July 4, 1949) is an American character actor known for his work as Itchy in Dick Tracy, Colonel Perry in Universal Soldier, Lt. Touchdown in Full Metal Jacket, ruthless Georgian mobster Viktor Rostavili in Red Heat, and police detective Cliff Willis in The Hidden.

Eduard Rubin

Eduard Alexander Rubin (17 July 1846 – 6 July 1920) was a Swiss mechanical engineer who is most notable for having invented the full metal jacket bullet in 1882. His most famous cartridge was the 7.5×55mm Swiss which was the standard ammunition for the Schmidt–Rubin, K31 and Stgw 57 military rifles. Besides the full metal jacket bullet, Rubin developed the military Schmidt-Rubin rifle (together with Rudolf Schmidt), the Rubin-Fornerod ignition mechanism and the use of TNT and ammonium nitrate to replace gunpowder in artillery grenades. His fully copper clad bullets were also the inspiration for the full metal jacket bullets introduced in 1886 for the Lebel rifle. He served as director of the Swiss Federal Ammunition Factory and Research Center in Thun.

He held the rank of colonel in the Swiss military and was married to Rosina Susanna Leuzinger, daughter of Swiss cartographer Rudolf Leuzinger.

Full Metal Jacket Diary

Full Metal Jacket Diary is a book written by American author, actor and photographer Matthew Modine and published by Rugged Land October 25, 2005. The book contains photos and diary entries of his experiences over a two-year period while working on the epic Stanley Kubrick film, Full Metal Jacket.Modine played the lead role of Private Joker, a U.S. Marine who is sent to Vietnam as a war correspondent for Stars and Stripes. While filming, Modine was encouraged by Kubrick to keep a diary of his experiences. Notorious for his closed film sets, Kubrick granted Modine the rare privilege of photographing the process, capturing moments on the set. Modine felt keeping a photographic and written diary would be a beneficial opportunity for his preparation as a war correspondent in the film.Modine used a Roleiflex camera, capturing glimpses of Kubrick's artistic and professional process. Full Metal Jacket Diary was published in limited edition book form in 2005 with a metal book jacket. "I always wanted to do something with the pictures because I think they're beautiful..." says Modine of his decision to publish the book. "Now I feel enough time passed and I can look back at those days as being part of another person's life, this young kid who went on a journey to work with a legend..."In addition to being a critical success, the book won the AIGA "50 Books/50 Covers of 2006" design award with a juror noting that it's "the only book I can imagine covered in a metal jacket".In 2010, Modine partnered with producer Adam Rackoff to begin transforming his book into an interactive iPad application, by raising funds through Kickstarter.

Full metal jacket bullet

A full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet is a small-arms projectile consisting of a soft core (often lead) encased in a shell of harder metal, such as gilding metal, cupronickel, or, less commonly, a steel alloy. A bullet jacket generally allows for higher muzzle velocities than bare lead without depositing significant amounts of metal in the bore. It also prevents damage to bores from steel or armor-piercing core materials. In military nomenclature, it is often labeled ball ammunition.

The bullet was invented in 1882 by Swiss Colonel Eduard Rubin while he was working for the Swiss Federal Ammunition Factory and Research Center, which developed ammunition for the Swiss military. The use of full metal jacketing in military ammunition came about in part because of the need for improved feeding characteristics in small arms that used internal mechanical manipulation of the cartridge in order to chamber rounds as opposed to externally hand-reloading single-shot firearms. The harder metal used in bullet jackets was less prone to deformation than softer exposed lead, which improved feeding. It is sometimes thought that military use of FMJ ammunition was the result of The Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III, prohibiting the use in international warfare of bullets that easily expand or flatten in the body. However, jacketed bullets had been in use since at least 1882, over a decade prior to the Hague Convention.

HK 4.6×30mm

The HK 4.6×30mm (designated as the 4,6 × 30 by the C.I.P.) cartridge is a type of ammunition primarily used in the Heckler & Koch MP7 Personal defense weapon (PDW). It is designed to minimize weight and recoil while increasing penetration of body armor. It features a bottlenecked case and a pointed, steel-core, brass-jacketed bullet.

Hawk Films

Hawk Films was a British film production company formed by Stanley Kubrick for his 1964 film Dr. Strangelove. He also used it as production company for A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), The Shining (1980) and Full Metal Jacket (1987).He later formed two subsidiaries that were also named after birds of prey: In addition to Hawk Films, Peregrine Productions was involved in the production of Barry Lyndon and The Shining; while Harrier Films was involved in the production of Full Metal Jacket together with his main production company Stanley Kubrick Productions, which he set up for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and which was also the main production company for Eyes Wide Shut (1999).

The American environmentalist Roger A. Caras served as vice president of Hawk Films from 1965 to 1969, and was heavily involved in the promotion of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Herbert Norville

Herbert Norville (born 1967) is an English actor known for his appearances in many British films in the 70s and 80s such as Scum (1979), Pressure (1976), Meantime (1983), Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Bugsy Malone (1976).

Matthew Modine

Matthew Avery Modine (born March 22, 1959) is an American actor, activist and filmmaker, who rose to prominence through his role as United States Marine Corps Private Joker in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. His other film roles include the title character in Alan Parker's Birdy, the high school wrestler Louden Swain in Vision Quest, Drake Goodman in Pacific Heights and Dr. Ralph Wyman in Short Cuts. On television, Modine portrayed Dr. Martin Brenner in Stranger Things, the oversexed Sullivan Groff on Weeds, Dr. Don Francis in And the Band Played On and Ivan Turing in Proof.

Modine has been nominated twice for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for his work in And the Band Played On and What the Deaf Man Heard and won a Special Golden Globe for him and the rest of the ensemble in Short Cuts. He was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for And the Band Played On.

R. Lee Ermey

Ronald Lee Ermey (March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018) was an American actor, voice actor and Marine corps drill instructor. He achieved fame when he played Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket, which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Ermey was also a United States Marine Corps staff sergeant and an honorary gunnery sergeant.

Ermey was often typecast in authority figure roles, such as Mayor Tilman in the film Mississippi Burning, Bill Bowerman in Prefontaine, Sheriff Hoyt in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, Jimmy Lee Farnsworth in Fletch Lives, a police captain in Se7en, plastic army men leader Sarge in the Toy Story films, Lt. "Tice" Ryan in Rocket Power, and a prison warden in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.

Ermey hosted two programs on the History Channel: Mail Call, in which he answered viewers' questions about various military issues both modern and historic; and Lock n' Load with R. Lee Ermey, which concerned the development of different types of weapons. He also hosted GunnyTime on the Outdoor Channel.

Rifleman's Creed

The Rifleman's Creed (also known as My Rifle and The Creed of the United States Marine) is a part of basic United States Marine Corps doctrine. Major General William H. Rupertus wrote it during World War II, probably in late 1941 or early 1942. In the past, all enlisted Marines would learn the creed at recruit training. However, in recent years the creed has been relegated to the back pages of the standard recruit training guide book and its memorization is no longer considered doctrine for recruits. Different, more concise versions of the creed have developed since its early days, but those closest to the original version remain the most widely accepted.

Surfin' Bird

"Surfin' Bird" is a song performed by American surf rock band the Trashmen, and it is also the name of the album that featured this hit single.

The song was released in 1963 and reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is a combination of two R&B hits by the Rivingtons: "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" and "The Bird's the Word".

The Boys in Company C

The Boys in Company C, directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Stan Shaw, Andrew Stevens, Craig Wasson, James Canning, and Michael Lembeck, is a 1978 film about United States Marine Corps recruits preparing for duty, and their subsequent combat in the Vietnam War. It was among the first Vietnam War films to appear after the Vietnam Era, and was also the first role for R. Lee Ermey of Full Metal Jacket fame. The Boys in Company C is the first in Furie's Vietnam War motion picture trilogy, followed by 2001's Under Heavy Fire and 2006's The Veteran.

The film was a co-production of Golden Harvest and Columbia Pictures, the latter originally handling theatrical distribution. It was filmed in The Philippines.

Wasson plays guitar and sings the theme song "Here I Am", used within the film and over the end credits.

Vivian Kubrick

Vivian Vanessa Kubrick (born August 5, 1960), also credited under the pseudonym Abigail Mead, is an American-born filmmaker and composer, known for her work with her father, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.

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