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The film follows a G.I squad's journey during World War II they are led by
'World War 1 veteran a Sergeant (Lee Marvin)
The story starts with the 'First Squad' serving in the 'North Africa' Campaign,
after an encounter with 'Rommel's' force the squads numbers are seriously
reduced, the Sergeant is injured and captured.....however when liberated
he re-joins his squad as they prepare to join the 'Sicily' invasion in 1943.
Privates 'Zab'(Robert Carradine) 'Griff'' (Mark Hamill) 'Vinci' (Bobby Di Cicco)
and 'Johnson' (Kelly Ward)
Their next mission takes them to the beaches of 'Normandy' - 'Omaha' as part
of the D-Day assault (1944) History of course tells us of the heavy losses the
allies took securing that beach.
After the squads progressed into 'Belgium' encountering fire-fights along the
way, still the squads war isn't over, they advance deeper Into German occupied
territory finally coming across a 'Nazi' Death-Camp.
The film is filmed as a biographical journey........The story a fictional World War II
drama written and directed by 'Samuel Fuller' - though fictional it does manage to
portray the harsh images and realities war brings.
This release (Blu-ray) has both the 1980 reconstructed version and the original 1967
Theatrical release on-board.
The reconstructed version lasting 162 minutes has been put together as it is believed
'Simon Fuller' would have wished it to be seen.
The Theatrical version 113 minutes is how cinema audiences would have seen it when
released.
The reconstructed version is presented in standard definition, the Theatrical version
has been upgraded to HD (Blu-ray)
There is quite a dramatic difference in the picture quality between the two versions on
board.
The film does achieve it's intended aim - it depicts the true horror of war.
(trouble is it seems, in truth, that man cannot live without it)
The film obviously worth viewing.
Special Features -
* Commentary on reconstruction version by 'Richard Schickel'
* Documentary - the man who made the movies - 'Samuel Fuller'
* Featurette - The real glory - reconstructing 'The Big Red One'
* Featurette - The Fighting First and War Department Film.
* Before and after restoration scene comparisons.
* Alternative Scenes.
This 'Import' Blu-ray release is 'region-free' so can be played on
region 'B' players.
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on 1 March 2017
Great war classic of my childhood.
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on 28 November 2002
This film is very true, in the way that great art can be true. It is not, admittedly, GREAT film making, yet it does, especially given the period within which it was made, tell many truths about both warfare and the Second World War in particular. We have been spoilt since the late eighties by a stream of realistic war films, which should nevertheless not prevent us from enjoying The Big Red One. With what now seem like school play production values when compared to such as Full Metal Jacket, incedentally filmed at Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, and the Isle of Dogs - before development, realistic it is not, yet it is one of the most truthful depictions of warfare yet made.
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on 21 December 2013
this film is brilliantly written and directed and is without doubt a real classic war movie it is one of the finest thought provoking war movies of all time and explores the camaraderie of the fighting man following the 1st infantry division in Africa, sicily , Italy and finally into Nazi Germany and touching on the personal feelings of soldiers encountering the aftermath of the holocaust first hand Marvin and Hamill are brilliant in their roles if you like war movies this is a must
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on 8 May 2015
Though there are other war films that I think are greater (particular favorites include Das Boot, The Thin Red LIne, and Paths of Glory), this nearly-three-hour movie is right up there among the top ten or twenty. It's a brutally honest look at the lives of four grunts and their sergeant, as they fight their way across North Africa, Sicily, and northern Europe--gritty, brutal, powerful, and honest. Sam Fuller lived it and knew how to show it. The four young actors--including Mark Hamill, in the midst of his Star Wars heyday--are very good. But gnarly, gaunt, sinwey Lee Marvin is magnificent, towering, unforgettable. His last great starring role, and perhaps his best. He was truly a unique movie star and actor; we have no one like him today. The only caveat I have about this film is about its visual quality. It's diffuse, grainy, lacking in detail. This film is important enough that I hope a better digital transfer can be made some day. The current blu ray, to go by some other comments here, apparently doesn't fix this problem.
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on 9 October 2016
Terriffic movie by Sam Fuller based on his own accounts and experiences in the world wars with an excellent cast headlined by Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine ect .

An EPIC story of survival, triumph and comrarderie of a seasoned Sargeant and his red one group of young soldiers in a a region free blu ray that contains all of the special featurette's, documentary, interviews from the 2004 dvd release of the RECONSTRUCTION: The Big Red One and both the theatrical version and the RECONSTRUCTION restored, enhanced and greatly extended version are contained there in. For myself the Extended Reconstruction is the best and finally does the material, story and character's true Justice in what could not be showcased in the edited down truncated theatrical 1980 release. Highly Recommended
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on 7 December 2014
This redux version is quite simply brilliant. Sam Fullers largely autobiographical telling of his wartime experience has an air of authenticity and engages you completely. The characters are flawed but plausible young men, little more than boys, led by the wonderfully grizzled old warrior played by Lee Marvin in his greatest role. It's a wonderful film and up there in the pantheon of great war movies.
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on 28 May 2006
great film ,all the way from north africa to the horror of the camps.very believable and the actors are true to the war (i was there ) bit weak at the end ,however very enjoyable .
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on 1 August 2007
This film is fantastic. It's not quite Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers, but I don't think it's about the same thing. Obviously it's about the second world war, but the way it goes about doing it is different. There are many powerful moments, especially the end one, and all the actors are brilliant, Mark Hammil being better than he was in Star Wars.
At first it seems a little disjointed and sketchy, but that's the way it was meant to be filmed, and when you get into it it really is one of the best war films ever. Seriously. You need to watch this.
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on 12 March 2016
I really enjoyed this movie and the deleted scenes added in make the film and it's story so much better.
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