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Great Santini
     

The Great Santini

4.3 3
Director: Lewis John Carlino, Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, Michael O'Keefe

Cast: Lewis John Carlino, Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, Michael O'Keefe

 

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Bull Meechum (Robert Duvall) loves fighting almost as much as he loves the Marine Corps. Profane, cocky, and arrogant, he's a great fighter pilot -- and he knows it. His boss hates his guts, but knows that if he's going to straighten out his lagging squadron, Meechum is the man to do it. The story and irony of The Great Santini is in Meechum's total intolerance

Overview

Bull Meechum (Robert Duvall) loves fighting almost as much as he loves the Marine Corps. Profane, cocky, and arrogant, he's a great fighter pilot -- and he knows it. His boss hates his guts, but knows that if he's going to straighten out his lagging squadron, Meechum is the man to do it. The story and irony of The Great Santini is in Meechum's total intolerance of family life and fatherhood. Meechum has a lovely, supportive wife, Lillian (Blythe Danner), an earnest, likeable son, Ben (Michael O'Keefe), three smaller children, and a good home, but Meechum finds the pastoral nature of peacetime totally incompatible with his gung-ho nature. So he begins to drink. He drills his family unmercifully, like recruits. He hammers his son relentlessly until, in a basketball game, his son fights back, and the family cheers Ben's efforts. Tension builds in the household until, during one drunken night, Meechum breaks down. Based on a best-selling novel by Pat Conroy, The Great Santini earned critical raves but fared poorly at the box office. Duvall's performance as Meechum is generally regarded as one of his greatest. ~ Nick Sambides, Jr.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Lewis John Carlino brings Pat Conroy's novel about a top Marine pilot who terrorizes his family vibrantly to life. Robert Duvall stars as the tyrannical Bull Meechum, a cocky fighter pilot who has trouble adjusting to a desk job and domestic life. He runs the family with the same military precision he has always brought to his job, and is unable to express his love for them in any normal way. While making the negative effects of the pilot's behavior on the entire family clear, the film concentrates on his competitive relationship with his sensitive teenaged son, Ben (Michael O'Keefe). The two play an ongoing sequence of emotion-laden games of one-on-one basketball, which reach an ugly climax when the boy defeats the father for the first time, a rite of passage. The film later tries to back away from Bull's near-psychotic reaction to this experience, and his attempt to humiliate his son, couching his behavior in good-old-boy clichés which are now difficult to swallow, and it simply trails off into a series of vignettes and sentimentality.Duvall resists all attempts to make this character attractive in one of the best outings of his career. Blythe Danner as his wife and O'Keefe are also superb.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/16/2013
UPC:
0883316841891
Original Release:
1979
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Archives
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:56:00
Sales rank:
1,034

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Duvall Bull Meecham
Blythe Danner Lillian Meechum
Michael O'Keefe Ben Meechum
Lisa Jane Persky Mary Anne Meechum
Julie Anne Haddock Karen Meechum
Brian Andrews Matthew Meechum
Theresa Merritt Arrabelle Smalls
Stan Shaw Toomer Smalls
David Keith Red Pettus
Paul Mantee Col. Virgil Hedgepath
Nancy Black Cheerleader
Lisa Collins Cheerleader
Ronnie Cross Honor Guard Sergeant
Joe Dorsey Coach Spinks
David Frankham Captain Weber
Garcia Pedro
Paul Gleason Lieutenant Sammy
Lew Horn Captain Brookout
Bennett Liss Corporal Atcherly
Bill Nelson 1st Cousin
Michael Rougas Colonel Muillnax
David Simmons Basket Ball Player
Jan Stratton Mrs. Weber
Michael Strong Colonel Varney

Technical Credits
Lewis John Carlino Director,Screenwriter
Bing Crosby Producer
Houseley Stevenson Editor
Elmer Bernstein Score Composer
George Folsey Editor
Jeff Haley Set Decoration/Design
John S. Poplin Production Designer
Ralph A. Woolsey Cinematographer
Herman Raucher Screenwriter
Charles A. Pratt Producer
Edward D. Markley Asst. Director
Jack Poplin Production Designer
Lee Alexander Sound/Sound Designer
Don Sullivan Set Decoration/Design
Pat Conroy Source Author

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The Great Santini 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the greatest Marine Corps themed movies ever made. If you are a former Marine you will relate. Feel the pride in our Corps, get this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was thinking about picking up this disc until I found out that it was presented in pan and scan and that the transfer was bad. I'll wait until this movie that I've heard great things about is released in a format in which we can see the entire picture, as the director intended. Having mono sound doesn't help either. Also, don't read the All Movie Guide review below, as it gives away HUGE plot spoilers to the movie. Heck, I don't even need to watch the movie now, thanks to All Movie Guide. *sigh*
Guest More than 1 year ago
More than just a memorable character study, THE GREAT SANTINI is a touching and realistic portrait of the American family of the JFK 1960's: Before Dallas, before Vietnam, before LBJ. Fueled by Oscar nominated performances of Robert Duvall and Michael O'Keefe, this is a seering and sensitive film. Not to be missed.