UK 116, Colour
Director: Stanley Kubrick; Cast: Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Ermey, Dorian Harewood, Kevyn Major Howard, Arliss Howard
Full Metal Jacket is considered by many as one of the most exquisitely filmed and accurate portrayals of the United States military during the Vietnam War. The screenplay is based upon the Gustav Hasford novel: The Short-Timers, and follows the training and subsequent deployment of a squad of U.S. Marines to Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive. The film is told from the perspective of Modine’s character – a personally conflicted soldier who is deployed as a combat correspondent for Stars and Stripes. He is also employed by Kubrick as the film’s narrator, which furnish parts of the film with a realistic newsreel look and feel. Somewhat surprisingly, the film’s most convincing and memorable performance is provided by the improvisational skills of Lee Ermey – a military advisor turned-actor who delivers a spectacularly colorful performance as the quintessential drill instructor (Klaus Ming December 2010).