It was in Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 movie “Full Metal Jacket” that R. Lee Ermey portrayed Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, the quintessential Marine Corps drill instructor and for many Marines, a movie version of the nightmare they overcame in training. The movie is a staple on nearly every Marines shelf and has easily become the most quoted and re-enacted film in Corps history – for now.
In the coming months and into 2006, the film industry will again turn its focus to telling the Marine Corps story. On Nov. 4, “Jarhead” starring Jake Gyllenhall and Jaime Foxx is set to open nationwide, and in 2006 “Flags of our Fathers” directed by Clint Eastwood is scheduled to premiere
“Jarhead” is a film adaptation of Anthony Swofford’s novel of the same name. After hitting bookstores in December 2003, the manuscript made its rounds through the Corps and was met with some controversy. The bitter memoir of a sniper in the Persian Gulf War is an unyielding examination of the terror of war and leads the young Marine depicted in the book to question everyone and everything, including the Marine Corps.
The film version of the book follows Gyllenhall (The Day After Tomorrow) through boot camp and into a war he doesn’t fully understand while fighting an enemy he can’t see. Foxx (Ray, Collateral) plays a hardcharger who leads his sniper platoon into battle. They’re also joined by Chris Cooper (American Beauty, The Patriot) and Peter Sarsgaard (Skeleton Key, Kinsey) in a star-filled cast that brings the movie an air of credibility.
After viewing the trailer, the film looks to be a cross between “Full Metal Jacket” and “Apocalypse Now.” Once word gets out about this movie, Marines in the Jacksonville area are sure to fill the theaters, so be prepared for long lines and sold out showings. To view the film’s trailer or for more information visit www.jarheadthemovie.com.
It’s the most famous photograph, perhaps in world history. Six men standing on the summit of Mt. Suribachi during the battle for Iwo Jima, raising the American flag. Six men whose lives would be forever changed by a one-four hundreth flash in time.
Author James Bradley, whose father, John Bradley, was one of the only survivors out of the six Marines and Sailors raising the flag, penned a novel that detailed the lives of the men who appeared in the photograph. His touching story weaves together legends of the old Corps and recounted the back story of an important time in Marine history.
The movie version of the book is being directed by Academy Award winning director Clint Eastwood and stars an ensemble cast headed by Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious) and Ryan Phillippe (Cruel Intentions). The film, set in the Pacific theater during World War II, is sure to compete for film awards at the end of 2006.
No further information concerning this film is currently available as the film is still in the production phase.
Although no one is likely to order their recruits to “choke themselves” in either movie, each will attempt to carry on the strong tradition of quality Corps movies that started long ago with films like “The Sands of Iwo Jima” with John Wayne and continued with “Full Metal Jacket.” Hopefully each will find a way into Marines hearts and try and live up to the service members they seek to emulate.