Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Full Metal Jacket)

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Snafu the Great
R. Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman.

If you ask a Marine what's his favorite movie, Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket usually tops the list.

If's a well-known fact that the late Kubrick is a control freak, doing take after take until the scene is up to his standards (it's one of the main reasons why Slim Pickens would not work with him following Dr. Strangelove.)

So when Kubrick decided to make a film based on the novel 'The Short-Timers,' Ermey was brought on as a consultant. Then Kubrick saw his tapes he made to show the actor playing Hartman how a Marine drill instructor should act (the tapes were of Ermey giving a squad of British Marines the what-for while being pelted with tennis balls and oranges by people off-screen), Kubrick gave the role of Gunny Hartman to Ermey instead.

That proved to be a wise decision on Kubrick's part. In fact, the first half of the movie in which the recruits go through basic training on Parris Island (RAF Bassingbourn doubling as the Marine base) is what makes the movie.

Simply put, Gunny Hartman is one bad-ass Marine (real life Marine Chesty Puller has him beat by a longshot).

Trivia: Ermey's portrayal of Hartman was so well received that the Marine Corps actually promoted him to Gunnery Sergeant despite having retired.

Nearly all of Ermey's dialogue was improv (Kubrick giving Ermey free reign in his scenes) In fact, while Ermey was berating Recruit Cowboy about his height and sexual preference (the 'reach-around' comment), Kubrick actually stopped filming and asked what Ermey meant. When Ermey explained it to him, Kubrick like it so much, that it made the final cut of the movie.

I am a Former Marine 1st Bat.8thReg. 3rd MarDiv. Anyway I new this guy must have been a real DI and addlibing it because it was so ancanally spot on.

Darth Martin
lolz, never fails

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