This gritty war story begins by following the trials and tribulations of a platoon of fresh Marine Corps recruits, with a special focus on the tenuous relationship between the cold-hearted and brutal Gunnery Sergeant Hartman and Privates Pyle and Joker.
The rigours and brutality of the training camp for Marine recruits slowly turn the young men grow into an instrument of death, as Hartman has foreseen of all of his recruits. Through Pyle's torment and Joker's unwillingness to stand up against it the climax of part one is achieved with all three main characters deciding their fates by their action or inaction.
The second chapter delves into Joker's psyche and the repeated referral to the fact that he joined the Corps to become a killer. When his mostly behind the scenes job as a combat correspondent is interfered with by the Tet offensive he is thrust into real combat and ultimately must decide if he really is a killer.
Did you know?
Stanley Kubrick had extensive phone conversations with writer Gustav Hasford over the screenplay, to discuss the adaptation of his novel into a movie. He eventually wanted to meet with Hasford in person, even though co-screenwriter Michael Herr tried to talk Kubrick out of this, as he thought Hasford was a 'scary man'. The meeting took place at Kubrick's house, but it went so bad that Hasford was kept out of the writing process for the remainder of production. Hasford later considered legal action to obtain a full writing credit on the screenplay. Read More