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Johnny Got His Gun [DVD] [1971]

Timothy Bottoms , Kathy Fields , Dalton Trumbo    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: 7.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Timothy Bottoms, Kathy Fields, Marsha Hunt, Jason Robards, Donald Sutherland
  • Directors: Dalton Trumbo
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Mar 2010
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002X9CJ0A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,113 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, this anti-war film focuses on a young American soldier (Timothy Bottoms) who has been hit by a shell on the last day of the First World War. He is without limbs, eyes, ears, mouth or nose, and at the beginning of the film is in a coma. The doctors believe, and hope, he will not regain consciousness; in order to keep the 'good order' of the military, an Army general has instructed the hospital not to allow the boy to be seen or to notify his family, but has also insisted that the medical staff are not allowed to perform euthanasia. A nurse realises the young soldier is awake while changing his dressings. As he remains conscious, he tries to communicate to his doctors his wish to be put on show as a true example of the horrors of war.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "SOS, Kill me" 4 May 2006
What would you do if you lost your arms, your legs, you cannot talk and you get confined to a bedroom in some gloomy hospital? Well, that's the thing about this movie. A young man went to war and ended like a human waste. What we understand is that the war is not a joke, not a bomb and explosion movie. War is this, a mutilated guy who only wants to die to end the nightmare.

Johnny give us his perspective of his environment and of his new "world": feeding, bath, test, people coming and so on. The continuos flashbakcs give us more perspective of his life and what he was before the accident.

Sometimes hard to see, it's a beautiful movie in the end, powerful and emotive.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Johnny got his gun 3 Sep 2004
This is one of the most powerful movies i have ever watched. I think that the very depressing nature of this film might make it barely more than a one time watch for many, but this is not a bad thing as the impact it will have when you see it for the first time is one that you will likely never forget.

While the movie fluctuates between the present and Joe's memories, sufficiently distinguished by black and white scenes and colour scenes respectively, the unbearably heavy atmosphere never changes. Every minute of the movie is drenched in despair and it leaves you with a macabre feeling that is quite unshakable. Watching the movie is also an understandably claustrophobic experience, as we witness Joe realising for the first time and having to come to terms with the fact that he has no arms, no legs, and no face and that he is trapped inside his mind for the rest of his 'life.' It is impossible to even imagine being in such a horrific position but it still leaves you with the same feeling of suffocating imprisonment.

This movie adaptation is very similar to the book though it does not follow it religiously, particularly towards the end, but the message remains clear and the story is just as horrifying. The scenes featuring Joe's hallucinations of Christ are especially harrowing and the ending of the movie admirably juxtaposes the pity and humanity of some people and the selfish and inhumane actions of others.

It is definitely an intense portrait of the horrific nature of war, just the thought of Joe's condition might be enough to shock anyone into a pacifism. One of the things that makes this more devastating is that it is set in a time of conscription and the young man has no choice in his own fate as the government claims him as an expendable, nameless puppet.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Horror of War 26 May 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Horror of War: This film has haunted me ever since I saw it on television a number of years ago. Like the film “All Quiet on The Western Front” it is a timeless anti-war movie quickly dispelling the “Action and Glamour” myth of war. As a 3rd generation volunteer of Combat Medics (myself a casualty of Desert Storm (Father serving in the Korean War)) I can bear witness to my Grandfathers event of not retuning home from France to the Beat of the Drum and the Flag waving at the end of the Great War as he had to remain in Service an extra year as a Medic looking after the backlog of casualties. After the Glories of Battle the filth of The Battle is dumped into the Medics, Doctors and Nurses lap; “The Living Dead – The Unwanted”. Anyone who watches the film will remember it again in November when the Poppy Tubs come out. This film represents the attitude of the “system” to this very day. A must watch........
Also a compelling plea for Governments to find a peaceful settlement / solution before condemning the youth of their own Nation... R.A.B.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To End All Wars 29 July 2008
Johnny Got his Gun is a film based on Dalton Trumbo's classic novel. Trumbo is most famous today as being blacklisted during the 1950's and also for his script work on Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus. He also wrote the screenplay for this film and lent some of his directing skills towards it.

The story follows a young American soldier called Joe Bonham who enlists in the army to fight during the First World War. While attempting to save a friend during a skirmish, he is struck by an artillery shell. Waking up in a hospital he is dazed and confused. It slowly dawns on him that he has lost his arms and legs, and his face has been torn off, leaving him unable to see, hear, speak or smell. Trapped in his body he is unable to tell his doctors that he is still conscious, as they believe he's brain dead. They decide to keep him alive as a top secret experiment.

Joe cannot escape, not from his situation or from his mind. His only contact with the outside world is through feeling the reverberations of the footsteps on the wooden floor beside his bed. He begins to slip further and further into his own thoughts. It is through these thoughts that we see him as as he was before his injuries. We see him with the girlfriend he left behind, and the childhood conversations with his father. Tragically the only solace Joe finds is in these memories. Yet he also suffers from surreal nightmares, including haunting visions of Jesus Christ. He begins to lose track of time and reality.

A new nurse on the ward begins to sympathise with him. She believes that Joe is still conscious and she attempts to speak to him by writing letters out on his chest. Joe can only reply by shaking his body, which does not convince the army command.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pick the gun up Slim!!!!
Pulls everyone away from action!!! into a world which lifts the filthy curtain on so many inhumane themes each tightly crammed together on a railway trip to hell... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles
5.0 out of 5 stars Anti war movie
Great anti war movie. Relates very well with the book of the sam title.
Same category as "All quiet at the western front".
Published 11 months ago by Luc Schevernels
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Like many people, I only discovered this via a Metallica video (and am not even a fan!). The film really is pretty depressing stuff and if you are in a bad frame of mind, I don't... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Suzie Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars great film
Got as a gift for my dad and he loved it. A great anti-war film. Only one thing left to day: Recommended.
Published 13 months ago by Katy Edmunds
5.0 out of 5 stars War is hell
Great movie with a good message I mainly bought this movie because of the Metallica video clip and it did not disappoint. Worth a watch.
Published 13 months ago by Too many movies
5.0 out of 5 stars film
this is a film that i watched years ago got is a present for somebody and he really enjoyed it this film is one to see
Published 15 months ago by gerald g sutherland
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally got it!
I saw this movie in seventis in cinemas and liked it then very much. Dalton Trumbo has also written a novel about it.
Published 15 months ago by Esa Silander
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
I wont make this review a "wall fo text" but to sum it up, I personaly bought the film for myself, and truly found it amazing, no matter what other people may say about it. Read more
Published on 9 April 2012 by Kieran
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to Leave Your Comfort Zone.
Dalton Trumbo is probably best remembered as the film writer who refused to give evidence in the McCarthy era, and was subsequently jailed and blacklisted. Read more
Published on 31 Aug 2010 by Bob Salter
2.0 out of 5 stars There are many great war films. This isn't one of them!
The movie is dated so some of the things that I found irritating about this film may have had a different impact. Read more
Published on 24 Dec 2009 by Denis Joe
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