Johnny Got His Gun (film)
|Johnny Got His Gun|
|Directed by||Dalton Trumbo|
|Produced by||Bruce Campbell|
|Written by||Dalton Trumbo|
|Music by||Jerry Fielding|
|Distributed by||Cinemation Industries|
|Release date(s)||14 May 1971|
|Running time||111 min.|
Johnny Got His Gun is a 1971 anti-war film based on the novel of the same name written and directed by Dalton Trumbo and starring Timothy Bottoms, Jason Robards and Donald Sutherland with Diane Varsi. The film was released on DVD in the U.S on April 28, 2009 via Shout! Factory with special features.
Joe Bonham (Bottoms), a young American soldier hit by an artillery shell during World War I, lies in a hospital bed. He is a quadruple amputee who has also lost his eyes, ears, mouth and nose. He remains conscious and able to reason, but his wounds render him a prisoner in his own body. As he drifts between reality and fantasy, he remembers his old life with his family and girlfriend (Kathy Fields). He also forms a bond, of sorts, with a young nurse (Diane Varsi) who senses his plight.
At the end of the film, Joe tries to communicate to his doctors, via Morse code, and wishes for the Army to either put him in a glass coffin in a freak show as a demonstration of the horrors of war, or kill him. In the end, however, he realizes that the Army will grant neither wish, and will leave him in a state of living death.
In the film's climax, his nurse attempts to euthanize him by clamping his breathing tube, but her supervisor stops her before Joe can succumb. This does not occur in the novel. The film ends with Joe weakly chanting "S.O.S. Help me."
- Timothy Bottoms as Joe Bonham
- Kathy Fields as Kareen
- Marsha Hunt as Joe's Mother
- Jason Robards as Joe's Father
- Donald Sutherland as Christ
- Charles McGraw as Mike Burkeman
- Sandy Brown Wyeth as Lucky
- Don 'Red' Barry as Jody Simmons (billed as Donald Barry)
The film is well known for distinguishing between Joe's reality and fantasy with black and white for the hospital, and color for his dreams and memories. His dreams are drug induced, as when he talks to his dead father and Christ, with the color being saturated. His memories are in a clearer color, such as the fishing trip and his last night with Kareen. Joe's face is never seen in the hospital scenes, and his missing limbs are covered by hospital sheets.
Popular culture 
- "Festival de Cannes: Johnny Got His Gun". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
- Johnny Got His Gun at AllRovi
- Johnny Got His Gun at the Internet Movie Database
- The cinematographer's page on the movie
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion
|Grand Prix Spécial du Jury, Cannes
tied with Taking Off