Full Metal Jacket

Question: Who's idea was it, or the reason, Kubrick decided to kill off Gunnery Sergeant Hartman? Was it to merely show the casualty of war?

Chosen answer: It was Gustav Hasford's idea. It happened in the original book that the story is based on, "The Short Timers."

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Question: Private Joker asks the gunner on the chopper about how he is able to shoot women and children, and the gunner replies by saying 'it's easy, you just don't lead them so much'. Does anyone know what that means?

Chosen answer: To lead means to aim ahead of a moving target. His statement means that women and children don't run as fast as men, so you don't need to aim as far in front of them to hit them.

jle

Question: Why was Gunnery Sergeant Hartman so mean to Leonard Lawrence AKA Private Pyle? Why was he always mad at him?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: A Drill Instructor is always mad at the recruits in order to forge discipline. Private Pyle was the biggest screwup in the unit, thus creating more work for him.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Answer: It also promotes unity and brotherhood against a common enemy, the drill instructor.

Question: When Joker says, "Is it you, John Wayne?" I don't really understand this joke. Unless he's just trying to be random, but then isn't he worried he might be in trouble?

Chosen answer: The quote was "Is that you John Wayne? Is this me?" Its a quote directly from the book the movie was based on. In the book Cowboy says it rather than Joker, mocking Hartman for barking out orders like John Wayne in many of his movies. After saying "Is this me?" Cowboy takes off his Stetson and fans his face, play acting a less masculine character that might also be found in a John Wayne movie. In the FMJ scene they of course weren't wearing Stetsons (full brimmed ranger hats) so it's a little off.

Answer: I always thought from the way Joker says it in the movie, that he is making a joke about the Gunny sounding like John Wayne ("Is that you John Wayne?"). But he says this joke mimicking the voice of John Wayne, which leads him to comically add "Is this me?" He is basically making a joke and then laughing at his joke by adding on to it.

Question: In the scene where Joker is talking with Cowboy, what does he mean by "I think that Leonard is a section-A" and pretty much the rest of the conversation about Cowboy's sister?

Chosen answer: What he says is "Section 8," the category for a psychological discharge from the US military.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Question: What does Semper Fi mean?

killin_kellit

Chosen answer: It's a shortened version of the Latin phrase 'Semper Fidelis', which means 'always faithful'.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: What's the reason why Rafterman doesn't chase after the guy who steals his camera and Joker replies with his own set of "karate moves"?

Chosen answer: Because he knows he cannot possibly catch him. The "karate moves" just shows his frustration.

raywest Premium member

Question: In one scene in the second half, Cowboy and Joker are walking into what might be be an intense fire fight. Do soldiers close the dust covers after charging their M-16s? Cowboy's is open, Joker's is closed. Mistake, or normal?

Chosen answer: It's part of your drill to close it after you "ready" or fire the weapon. Soldiers often forget and it's not uncommon to see them open.

Question: After Pyle's "blanket party", Joker notices that he's slowly losing his sanity by talking to his rifle constantly. Why didn't Joker report this to Hartman?

Chosen answer: Nobody liked him before and he's no longer causing problems for everyone else, so they simply don't care.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

But Joker was very concerned as he was actually friendly with Pyle and was hesitant to participate in the blanket party.

He was friendly with him because Hartmann ordered him to be. He had a moment of guilt before participating, but he still did it.

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