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  Johnny Got His Gun If You're Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands
Year: 1971
Director: Dalton Trumbo
Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Jason Robards Jr, Diane Varsi, Donald Sutherland, Marsha Hunt, David Soul
Genre: Drama, WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: A soldier (Timothy Bottoms) in World War One is seriously injured by a bomb, leaving him armless, legless and faceless. Lying in his hospital bed, he journeys through his mind as he is kept alive against his will.

Dalton Trumbo adapted his classic anti-war novel, but what worked brilliantly on the page falls flat on the screen - it's morbid when it should be moving. The plot meanders and the attacks on the military, the church and science are laboured. Timothy Bottoms is so wishy washy that the only reason you sympathise with him is because of the horrifying predicament he is in.

Some of the dream sequences are interesting - for instance, he is put on display at a sideshow, and he sits with some dead soldiers playing cards with Jesus Christ (played by Donald Sutherland, of all people). Yet for such potent subject matter, the whole thing is far too blandly filmed; on the whole, my advice is to read the book instead, or possibly check out the Metallica video that featured clips, which gets the whole thing over with in a fraction of the time. Watch for: David Soul as a soldier. Music by Jerry Fielding.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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