peteg's blog

Johnny Got His Gun

/noise/movies | Link

Young men don't have homes, that's why they must go out and kill each other.
— Father Robards dishing out a busted civics lesson.

A Timothy Bottoms jag from The Last Picture Show. Dalton Trumble adapted the screenplay from his own novel (of 1939) and directed (in 1971). The tail end of World War I sees a very young American lose just about everything and nevertheless be kept alive for unmotivated military/scientific/medical/plot reasons. Black-and-white in the later timeline, colour flashbacks. Jason Robards plays dead like Magnolia, Donald Sutherland an unhelpful Jesus. It's all kooky dystopia: a bit Brazil, A Clockwork Orange, The Loved One. It often loses momentum with fragmentary and sometimes poorly realised dream sequences. Monty Python had more fun with their knight.

Roger Ebert liked it at the time, Roger Greenspun less so.