Johnny Got His Gun
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The author of the famous late 1930's antiwar book Johnny Got His Gun wrote and directed this film adaptation. It concerns a nameless young soldier (Timothy Bottoms) in a veteran's hospital in the World War I period. The young man has had his face blown off, he is without the use of any of his senses save touch, and also has no arms or legs. He is in a coma at the beginning of the film, and his doctors doubt that he will regain consciousness. This is also what they hope. A nurse, while changing his dressings, discovers that he is awake and responsive. The unrelieved awfulness of his… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film is often sentimental, sometimes brilliant as well as horrifying, and it is intriguing to speculate on what Buñuel, whom Trumbo originally wanted to direct, would have made of it."
‑ , Time Out
"Problems aside, there's a cumulative power to the material and an idea that's impossible to ignore."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Sadly, time has not made this story any less relevant or potent."
‑ Dan Lybarger,
"a sobering, grueling look at us"
‑ Pete Croatto,
"Trumbo successfully turns Johnny into the living embodiment of the horror and futility of war -- but also of the unquenchable resilience of the human spirit."
‑ , Film4
"Although Mr. Trumbo is primarily a screenwriter, screenwriting is only the worst of the film's several failures."
‑ Roger Greenspun, New York Times
"[Trumbo's] filmmaking is frugal -- jump-cuts state the passage of time, a languid fade to yellow signifies solar warmth."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Dalton Trumbo (member of the Hollywood Ten) sole directing effort is one of the most hauntingly powerful anti-war film made, an experimental work that's effective as realistic portrait of war's damages as well as metaphoric, quasi-religious journey."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"The primal power of the story -- a young man trying to find some sense in what's happened to him -- prevails."
‑ Rob Gonsalves,
"A heartbreaking anti-war allegory that's a bit slow, yet stills commands your attention. Donald Sutherland as a hippie Jesus is a bit too much, though."
‑ Bob Bloom, Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
"Instead of belaboring ironic points about the "war to end war," Trumbo remains stubbornly on the human level."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Trumbo, directing his first film, drives home his points in a somewhat obvious, often awkward fashion that is overly talky, but so disquieting is his story and the reality underlying it that it is difficult not to be moved by the film."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"strong historical and literate adaptation of a truly remarkable anti-war classic"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Ainda que contenha algumas seqüências memoráveis e angustie pela situação de seu protagonista, este único trabalho deTrumbo na direção é óbvio tanto em sua mensagem anti-belicista quanto em sua abordagem fantasiosa."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"This grim soldier's tale has some bad acting and some overextended melodrama, but eventually it hits its stride and becomes a gripping drama."
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
More reviews for Johnny Got His Gun on Rotten Tomatoes