The Big Red One
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This war picture follows the First Infantry Division from Africa to Europe during the years 1942 through 1945. Lee Marvin stars as the division sergeant; he's tough and experienced, but he takes on his job with cool professionalism. Based on Fuller's experiences, the film is a loosely constructed series of anecdotes.
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A big, impressive slab of drama -- maybe not a masterpiece or an epic, but a colorful story that sweeps you up and covers a lot of ground at a fast clip."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Even though it has gained more than 45 minutes, it doesn't feel longer. Scenes that were choppy or half-baked are now allowed to play out as Fuller intended."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"... if you want a World War II story from a real vet's perspective, Sam Fuller is still the man and The Big Red One, drawn from his own war experiences, is the film"
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seanax.com
"meant to be the culmination of a life's work... It didn't come to pass."
‑ Chris Barsanti, Filmcritic.com
"Schickel's painstaking work elevates The Big Red One into the pantheon of the all-time great war films and gives it a fullness that the original only suggested."
‑ Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Daily News
"'The Reconstruction,' which clocks in at 2 hours, 43 minutes, with not a single extraneous frame, elevates the work from a robust genre film to a full-blown epic."
‑ Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times
"The director's gift for bare-knuckles lyricism rescues scene after scene."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Personal observation bleeds out of every scene, and somehow it feels like a true story in a way that most war movies can't achieve."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"The cast smartly underplays things, with Marvin being as charismatic as usual playing a man of few words. And Hamill, an actor given to over-the-top outbursts, reins it in here; this may be his best big-screen performance."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Fuller went a step further, baring not only his soul but the wartime scars inflicted upon it. For all its merits, the 1980 version of the film denied audiences that connection. The new version both restores and reaffirms it."
‑ Wade Major, Boxoffice Magazine
"To see this seamless 'reconstruction' -- consisting of some 15 entirely new sequences as well as augmentations to 23 others -- is to behold a masterpiece revealed."
‑ Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly
"If you don't elect to watch The Big Red One through the lens of Sam Fuller's mystique ... you'll realize that it has been celebrated in ways that essentially make virtues of its flaws."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"... displays both raw power and the hint of war's brutality."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"These places were where Fuller himself served during the war, and he imbues these stories with the same gritty detail he probably delivered telling them over a beer."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"Fuller wrote and directed The Big Red One with a reporter's respect for detail and a humanist's respect for the moments that shape lives."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
More reviews for The Big Red One on Rotten Tomatoes

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