Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

The Big Red One: Reconstruction 1980

Directed by Samuel Fuller

USA In English
159 minutes 35mm



Gene Corman

Reconstruction producer

Richard Schickel


Adam Greenberg


Morton Tubor

Reconstruction editor

Bryan McKenzie


Dana Kaproff


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


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