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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real infantry soldier experience, 28 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: The Big Red One - The Reconstruction (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1980] (DVD)
I can't really add to what's already been said by most of the other positive reviews of this excellent war film. I will though comment on two of the negative reviews of the film here as it brings up an interesting point - what it actually feels like to be a private in an Infantry section.

Two reviewers here have compared this negatively to Speilberg's ''Saving Private Ryan'' and Peckinpah's ''Cross of Iron'' for not having a strong story and not taking enough of a stance on whether the film is anti-war or not.

''The Big Red One'' is as close to my experiences as being an infantryman (even though I was never in actual combat) as I have seen and I think these viewers missed the point of the film. It dosen't hit the viewer over the head like''Ryan'' and ''Cross'' do with the message that war is hell, though it does send that message in more subtle ways. The film's message and it's plot concerns actually surviving combat and the overall experience of been a soldier and how it changes you.

I had to laugh at the comparisons to the two aforementioned films as though I am a fan of Speilberg and Peckinpah they are both filmakers that make very stylized films and I found their takes on war to be quite heavy-handed and preachy. In ''Ryan'' in a few scenes Infantry boss Tom Hanks bares his soul to his men - a move that actual real life World War 2 veteran Lee Marvin knew was something that wouldn't happen in reality and here in his best performance he shows what it actually takes to be a leader of men in the military. I would even suggest seeing the film for his nuanced performance alone though this film also has a lot else to recommend it too.

''The Big Red One'' is an experience that should be endured.
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