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?
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?
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.
Question: Why was Gunnery Sergeant Hartman so mean to Leonard Lawrence AKA Private Pyle? Why was he always mad at him?
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.
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?
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?
Answer: What he says is "Section 8," the category for a psychological discharge from the US military. Since they don't care one way or another, the conversation shifts to how much Joker wants to do Cowboy's sister.
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?
Answer: Nobody liked him before and he's no longer causing problems for everyone else, so they simply don't care.
But Joker was very concerned as he was actually friendly with Pyle and was hesitant to participate in the blanket party.
I don't think Joker actually wanted to hurt Pyle - as you said he tried to help him but to not participate as a squad leader would reflect cowardliness, and therefore it seems his hand was sort of forced.
He was friendly with him because Hartmann ordered him to be. He had a moment of guilt before participating, but he still did it.
Question: What does Semper Fi mean?
Chosen answer: It's a shortened version of the Latin phrase 'Semper Fidelis', which means 'always faithful'.
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"?
Answer: Because he knows he cannot possibly catch him. The "karate moves" just shows his frustration.
Answer: Because it's basically a government camera. It's not his personal camera. He'll just go back and report that someone stole his camera and they'll issue him a new one. Not a big deal for that type of equipment, considering they're in a war zone. If they stole his rifle, it probably would have been a bigger deal, but it's just a camera.
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?
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: Would the fact that Leonard was overweight have even allowed him to join or be drafted into the military?
Answer: Plenty of people who are overweight, or are otherwise out of shape, join the military...part of the point of boot camp is to get them into shape. Leonard is hardly obese, so he'd be able to join, especially when there was a war on and the military took who they could get.
Question: During the shaving the heads scene at the start of the film, I've spotted Pyle, Joker, and Cowboy with their heads getting shaved, but not Snowball. Which one is Snowball in the scene?
Answer: Snowball doesn't appear in the sequence.
Question: When Joker informs Hartman that Pyle loaded his rifle with live ammo, Hartman finally realises that Pyle has gone crazy and then tries to talk him down gently. When that failed, why did he start shouting at Pyle again? Couldn't he see that yelling at Pyle constantly is what pushed him over the edge?
Answer: He spoke to Pyle in a (relatively) calm tone. Yes, he believed Pyle to be mentally challenged, but when the Private failed to respond to the nicer tone he went full-on Marine at him. He didn't necessarily believe he was God to the recruits, but to effectively train and adapt their motivation he must ingrain in them that he alone is in charge of them.
Answer: He didn't start talking to him calmly, he started talking to him slowly, emphasizing his commands to him, hoping he would understand, because he thinks Pyle is mentally deficient. Hartman is not a sensitive or patient man, not really in touch with reality either, thinking he is God within that compound. His mistake of course, was not realising where the danger was, for himself mostly.
Answer: It was Gustav Hasford's idea. It happened in the original book that the story is based on, "The Short Timers."