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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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Quotes

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: How tall are you private?
Private: Sir, five foot nine, sir!
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Five foot nine, I didn't know they stacked shit that high!

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Mistakes

In the scene where the sniper is shot, You can see blood on her face (especially on her upper lip) when she falls down after being hit, but when she lies on the floor afterwards, there is no blood on her face anymore.

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Trivia

R. Lee Ermey actually wrote all of Gunny Hartman's dialog himself. Ermey was involved in a serious car accident right before shooting, so Kubrick invited Ermey to come stay at his house in England to recover. While recovering Ermey read the script over and over, and he remarked that the Drill Instructor's dialog that was in the script was obviously the work of a screenwriter with a cliche imagination who obviously had no idea what boot camp was really like. So Kubrick allowed Ermey to re-write all of the dialog himself.

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