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Videos: The best scenes from ‘Full Metal Jacket’

Person holding clapboard (Unsplash)
May 24, 2024

“Full Metal Jacket,” directed by Stanley Kubrick and released in 1987, is a gritty portrayal of the Vietnam War, focusing on the journey of a group of U.S. Marine recruits from their brutal training at Parris Island to their deployment in Vietnam.

The movie is divided into two distinct halves. The first half follows the recruits through an intense training regimen under the command of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, played brilliantly by R. Lee Ermey. Through relentless physical and psychological challenges, audiences witness the transformation of ordinary young men into hardened soldiers, stripped of their individuality and molded into a cohesive unit.

The second half of the film shifts to Vietnam, where viewers follow one of the recruits, Joker, played by Matthew Modine, who has become a war correspondent. The brutal realities of combat are laid bare as Joker and his fellow Marines navigate the chaos and horror of war.

“Full Metal Jacket” is renowned for its powerful performances, striking visuals, and Kubrick’s signature attention to detail. It offers a visceral and unflinching depiction of the Vietnam War and leaves a lasting impact on audiences, cementing its place as a classic in the war film genre.

Below are three of the best scenes from the film.

In one scene, recruits are seen tackling intense Marine Corps basic training, including obstacles, running, and mud pits.

In one of the most iconic scenes from the movie, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman finds a jelly donut in a recruit’s footlocker. Instead of punishing the recruit who stole the donut, Hartman punishes his fellow recruits while forcing the thief to eat the stolen donut. 

Another scene highlights the film’s humor, brilliantly juxtaposed against the devastation of war.