Stanley Kubrick’s film, based on Gustav Hasford’s 1979 novel The Short-Timers, stands out among the 150+ studio films about the Vietnam War. The film follows two U.S. Marine recruits, Joker (Modine) and Pyle (D’Onofrio) from their first day at boot camp. Juxtaposed with the peace symbol on his fatigues, the motto on Joker’s helmet – BORN TO KILL – reveals the inner conflict he faces (along with many others). Former U.S. Marine sergeant R. Lee Ermey, who found fame playing Joker and Pyle’s drill sergeant in the film, found peace being typecast in military roles for the next 30 years.
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay by: Stanley Kubrick, Michael Herr, Gustav Hasford
Starring: Adam Baldwin, Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio
Major nominations on original release : Academy Award for Best Adapted ScreenplaySee all nominees