"I'll PT you until your assholes are sucking buttermilk!" WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
You don't want to know.
PT = Physical Training.
Physical Torture to those who get paid to do it.
I think he was referring to the "assholes are sucking buttermilk" part. What the hell DOES that mean?
Until something totally incomprehensible happens, obviously.
Buttermilk was once a hick remedy for really bad sores.
PT technically means physical training but not the typical amount they are used to doing. The way he means it "torturous exercise for a longer than normal time used as punishment." In other words, their usual exercise routine cranked Up to Eleven.
Is Private Pyle going insane supposed to be An Aesop that brutal discipline isn't for everyone?
That, or it's an aesop that brutal dehumanization isn't for anyone. His name wasn't Gomer Pyle, it was Leonard Lawrence. Only one person bothered to remember that.
I don't think obvious moralisation is really Kubrick's style...
It happens often in training like that, this troper experiencing it first-hand even in the "milder" Army. I think him going insane is supposed to show the reality of life in training.
That's true. People go crazy based on their own timing. Being away from home for the first time (for many recruits) is stressful. Those who go to milder training (as pointed out above) only know how much their own situations suck. When I went to Boot Camp in 1987, we had our share of crazies, too. At that time, Marine Corps Boot Camp was very similar to what was shown in the movie, except that I never saw a senior drill instructor who was an E-7. All of them were E-5 or E-6. The senior drill instructor was usually the milder of the three or four assigned to the platoon. Only one of them was really known for hitting recruits and he was only temporarily assigned to my platoon, long enough to punch me in the head on one occasion, but he was best known for the time he butt-stroked a recruit right in the face. We started out with 84 recruits and ended up with 70, including a few who had been picked up from other platoons along the way. That means more than 14 original recruits were weeded out, either because of mental or physical problems, or they couldn't pass the training. We had one who refused to follow orders and two who desserted and we never saw them again. My point is, these were all volunteers in peace times. In fact, there was even a rule prohibiting recruits from taking weapons into the head (latrine/bathroom) for this very reason. Apparently, shooting yourself in the head while sitting on a toilet is appealing to depressed/crazy recruits.
How many other places can a recruit find (at least temporary) privacy? If someone is determined to commit suicide, what's "appealing" about the location is a reduced chance of being interrupted: therefore, greater chances of going through with it.
It's possible it's meant to show that Joker isn't cut out for military service. He handles that whole situation horribly. Instead of either grabbing the (unloaded) rifle and running to the MPs, or even just running to the MPs, he does... nothing, and two Marines die as direct a result.
What really bugs me is that there is so much pity and support from the audience for Pvt Lawrence (Pyle). From the opening scene you can tell that he shouldn't be there, and what he is, is a Non-hacker who, unable to cope with the stress of something he volunteered for, snaps and murders a man dedicated to serving his country, before killing himself. Next time you watch FMJ, watch it from the social standpoint of 1969, and realise that Hartman isn't evil at all, he is doing his job. Would anyone want someone like Pyle alongside them in a firefight? No. That's why Hartman is harsh, to get rid of all the people who would be incapable of operating as a Marine.
I agree, sorta. I mean I don't have a problem with obese people at all, they can do whatever they want, it's their life, they are not hurting anyone. But ""SERIOUSLY!"" He could not wait the whole 6 awake hours he had till he got to go to breakfast to get another doughnut? (He said he was hungry. Liar. He just loves sweets and wanted to have a snack) I don't really feel he deserves the sock beating that happens afterwards, but come one, show some mental fortitude dude. Your not supposed to have sweet snacks to much on whenever you feel like in basic training, """DEAL WITH IT."""
The movie portrays war as immoral and something civilized people don't participate in. Not having pity on someone who is unable to become a trained killer runs contrary to the message.
Sure you want to take that moronic and indefensible stance?
The movie doesn't really take any political stance on war, it just shows it for what it is, it's the viewer that makes the judgement about war, true though, that 90% of people agree, war is hell.
How do you know he volunteered? The movie was set during the Vietnam war; he could have been drafted.
The Marine Corps took virtually zero draftees (less than one thousand, total) during the entire Vietnam War. The only one of the services actually filling its quota via the draft for Vietnam was the Army, the Marine Corps was 99.9% volunteer.
Still, that doesn’t mean that he did. I find it relatively likely that all the shit that happened to him, on top of being drafted, was what made him snap. If he'd volunteered, he would have been more likely to wash out conventionally. (Not sure how the draft worked in terms of washing out, but I would assume it would have been a lot harder to be allowed to leave if you were drafted than if you volunteered)
I don't think washing out would have been a good option. Washing out doesn't necessarily mean you get to go home and you're finished with your obligation. In the Marine Corps, if you "quit," or fail at something, it just means you will be recycled, which means at some point in the training, you're sent away to another platoon, often repeating two or three weeks of training you already had and spending more time in Boot Camp than you should.
It's extremely unlikely he was drafted. Period. And you don't just get to leave Basic if you're overwhelmed or fail. You signed a contract, and once you set foot on the plane or bus headed for Parris Island, you can't leave until you complete Basic. This applies in both peace and wartime. It works the same in the Army, regardless of whether you enlisted or were drafted.
In peacetime, at any point in your first 12 months, you can request a "failure to adapt to military lifestyle", which counts as a General Discharge (neither honourable nor dishonourable), not an Honourable Discharge.
It's not explained in the film, so who knows how he ended up there. It's also possible that he volunteered to avoid being drafted. Some people would do that, vounteering for a guaranteed MOS (such as supply or food service) to avoid the possibility of being drafted into the infantry.
Maybe he had nowhere else to go? Hartman kept trying to get Lawrence to quit, but Lawrence really wanted to be a Marine, and never did anything bad enough to warrant getting kicked out. Recruit training is designed to be very difficult, to wash out those who can't make it. Ironically, his breakdown began when he started doing everything correctly.
That's not quite true, basic training is designed to be hard but not too difficult, even in the marines. The idea is that once the tasks are accomplished the men form a bond.
That's how it works today, but at that point in time, and especially for the Marines it was more about weeding out the weak, getting rid of those that would hinder or hurt other Marines
As far as I know, the Marines have never taken conscripts except for part of World War Two. That being said, some people did volunteer so as to avoid being drafted into the Army. But no, Hartman isn't evil at all. I don't think Leonard is evil either; it seems clear that he's insane by the time he murders Hartman.
According to several Web sources, some Army draftees found themselves being picked to "join" the USMC when they reported for induction.
From what we've seen of Pyle, he's not too bright, he's pretty heavy, and quite frankly, desperate for approval. Chances are, he's gotten this kind of abuse in the civilian world as well and the Marine Corps was his attempt to better himself and gain some respect. He probably had an idea of how hard it would be to get through the training, but he probably didn't think it would be this hard. After going through the physical and mental abuse, Pyle eventually figured that it would only get harder after this and more likely than not, he was going to die out in the field, never able to reap the fruits of his labor. He would be going from one hell to another. Since he couldn't handle the real world and the corps was going to kill him, Pyle decided to lash out at the one figure who he could immediately blame for his suffering: Sgt. Hartman. Once doing that, it was a matter of time before he killed himself.
If you were the drill instructor, would you verbally humiliate a visibly-disturbed man holding a gun you've been told is loaded? Not that he deserved it: but wouldn't it have made more sense not to escalate, in that lopsided scenario?
To Sgt. Hartman's credit, he did try to calmly tell Pyle to place the weapon on the deck and step away. But when Pyle didn't comply, Hartman reverted to his default method of persuasion (i.e. yelling and berating). But again, you're right. Hartman should have executed more caution when dealing with Pyle.
That's actually the way the military trains you to deal with someone who's wigging out. Nine times out of ten a show of strong force will cause a person to back down, even if they're behaving erratic or violent. Unfortunately, if the other person has a loaded M14, that means the other one time will probably end in you getting shot.
The thing I don't get is why nobody ever gives Joker any shit for how he behaves. He just kind of stands there and watches as Pyle loads individual bullets into a clip and then loads the clip and cocks the rifle and starts going through drills... I understand that he was panicked or whatever, but really, just screaming and running away would have been a better response. Maybe Hartman would have still stormed in and started berating Pyle, but then again maybe not; Hartman does seem genuinely surprised when Joker tells him that Pyle's weapon is loaded. If Joker had just immediately gotten out of there and warned everyone, maybe the M Ps (or whatever, sorry, military noob here) would have been able to take Pyle out before he hurt anyone...
Hartman asks something along the lines of why isn't Pvt. Joker stomping Pvt. Pyle's guts out for that. Joker handled it horribly. The job of the watch is to be alert this very kind of stuff at night, especially in boot camp, and while unarmed, the watch is the first line of defense in boot camp. So as soon as he seen Pyle in there he should've disarmed him and reported him to Hartman. His window was small but not that small. Or he could've just ran and got help. But to do nothing costed both Marines lives and possibly proves that its Joker who isn't fit to be a Marine. I personally witnessed a boot camp wig-out, To a far less dangerous degree but equally loud. And it was the guy on watch while we were asleep. Talk about something potential scarywhen you think of how bad it could've been with 50 sleeping recruits while an insane individual is supposedly watching you sleep. Lucky for us it was around 5 am and not closer to lights out. The watch commander(a recruit) was the first person to try calming him down and getting loud back did work better than being calm, and much much better than doing nothing.
Of course, the real question is how the hell Pyle got that rifle and ammo in the first place. Surely in a place like Parris Island, the guys in charge of the armoury would know better than to hand out a rifle and live ammo to a raw recruit (or one that had just passed out).
If they know better than to hand out live ammo, what makes all those holes in all those pieces of paper? Especially powerful blanks?
Live ammo would have to be signed out by the drill instructors. How Pyle got it out without authorisation is the issue. Surely, also someone would have noticed him carry the rifle around the barracks with him.
All of them carry rifles. Everywhere. They're married to that piece of iron and wood, and they are faithful. As far as live ammo controls, the DI's are human, and they are overworked (this is set during Vietnam, when the 13-week recruit training was cut down to 7 weeks, and Hartman seems to be carrying out the normally 3-man training job by himself most of the time). They can't even stop Pyle from smuggling jelly donuts out of the mess hall.
Or he could have squirrled away rounds from their range sessions. He's able to smuggle in a jelly donut, so pocketing a few rounds during range sessions is a no brainer.
To the original question, while verbal abuse is just Hartman doing his job, him setting Pyle up to be beaten by his fellow privates is decidedly less so. What exactly did Hartman try to achieve by it anyway? Making Pyle quit? If a couple of entries above are to be believed he would either be sent to another boot camp or couldn't quit at all. In this case Hartman put the guy through an incredibly humiliating experience either just to make him someone else's problem or just For the Evulz. If that was an attempt to make Pyle really get his act together, well, it worked. Too well. Hartman failed to consider that while not wanting to get another blanket party would make a guy to push himself to his absolute limits, enough to make it, it couldn't be good for his mental health, let alone bonding with other recruits. Besides, since he did not 'get rid' of Pyle, it means, ironically enough, that he actually failed at his job and it got him killed. That and Joker not telling about signs of Pyle's mental breakdown to anyone but Cowboy and Cowboy not telling anyone else. To put it short, getting beaten down by a group of people will make you hate them and most of all the person you are smart enough to see being behind it. And you can't leave this group. And no one gets punished for it. Pyle's actions are pretty damn understandable.
Hartman's main failing is that he did it to the wrong guy at the wrong time. Humiliation such as Pyle's is all part and parcel of the recruit training experience, and recruit-driven punishment isn't unheard of (and in some places, tolerated). It may not work all the time to shape someone up, but it works enough to warrant doing it. Another thing, which was in "The Short-Timers" but didn't make it to the movie, is that Hartman isn't totally free to act in regards to Pyle; by the time Leonard's gone batshit-crazy, he's lost too many other recruits (due to injury or being more obviously batshit-crazy) and actually intimidates his own recruits to keep quiet about Pyle so he can send one more grunt to Vietnam and keep his superiors off his back.
Why does Lawrence snap after successfully completing basic training instead of earlier while he's failing/being abused by the other trainees?
Snapping is only the last step in the process of a mental breakdown, and he'd been going through that process for a long time. That he finally lost it completely at that particular time didn't really have anything to do with it being that particular time. It isn't necessarily a factor where or when a ticking time bomb goes off, only that the timer has finally finished running down.
I'm thinking that from the point at which he gets that thousand-yard stare, he had every intention of doing what he did, and the training from then on was him psyching himself up.
I think he snapped immediately after his fellow soldiers beat him with the pillows.
I always wondered, would things have played out differently had he failed basic training?
He would have been "recycled" in the next training group.
I mean would he have still shot himself and Hartmann?
Hartman was portrayed as being evil in the movie, despite the fact that Ermey has said that for the most part, he was behaving pretty much the same way he did when he was actually a DI at Paris Island during Vietnam, and said actions for the most part were considered to be acceptable. And aside from the fact that DI's are not allowed to hit recruits (which most of them do anyway), his actions today would be considered acceptable. If a recruit can't hack it, he does not belong in the Marines. The Marines are elite. If you aren't up to the physical challenge, then join a less specialized branch of the military. Some people say he was wrong to single out Pyle, but he was absolutely right to. Pyle constantly failed at proper drilling exercises, he was in poor physical condition (he couldn't do one god damn pullup for chrissakes), and he violated the rules by having chow in the barracks. I personally would never opt to join the military, simply because the military isn't for everyone, but if you do join, the people training you are not there to hold your hand. They are there to train you so that when you go into battle, you don't die because you were trained improperly.
I don't think he was being portrayed as evil. I think he was being portrayed fairly. Some could infer that he was evil, but I don't think that was the intent. He was just a DI doing his job.
Why so much talk about Hartman being evil or not? He is not the point of boot camp, however fun he may be to quote. The point is the things he did which were, presumably SOP - forcing a bunch of impressionable 18-year-olds to pray to be able to kill, to line up every morning and scream 'BLOOD!BLOOD!BLOOD!', implying that what's important is shooting straight, not who you're shooting(Lee Harvey Oswald). It's ugly and harsh and THAT IS THE POINT. War is evil and ugly, and this is what you have to do to men to make them fight it. Pyle goes nuts because the training works TOO WELL - he wants to kill, he CAN kill and... oops. He's killing the wrong thing, that's all. The helicopter gunner, later - is he disturbing because he's a murdering fuck? Well, yes, but more than that - he is the LOGICAL CONCLUSION of the training given at boot camp. He is what boot camp wanted to create, from what we see. Joker is our main character BECAUSE the training doesn't take to him - he retains humanity, until, it is implied, the very end when he executes the sniper. Hartman ain't the point folks - the system he's enforcing is.
No, the training takes to guys like Joker and Cowboy the way the Marine Corps intended. They're the guys they tend to want, and guys like Pyle and the door gunner are the exceptions. If the Marine Corps had wanted guys like the door gunner to fill their ranks, the Corps itself would have been drummed out years ago.
Why didn't the marines just use smoke grenades to obscure the view of the sniper, then rescue the wounded soldiers?
It's been over a year since I've watched the film, but smoke grenades aren't necessarily common. Also, there's the fact that they're inaccurate over a distance and you'd have to breath smoke in the process. Smoke grenades damage your ability to react to an attack as well as your enemy's. There might have been some concern about getting attacked while in the smoke cloud or the cloud dispersing too quickly or while they were moving the wounded soldiers.
A smoke grenade probably would have been a good idea, but the Marines in the scene were in a panic and, like mentioned above, might not have had any with them at the time.
By the time Animal Mother confirmed that they were dealing with a single sniper rather than the "strong enemy forces" Cowboy thought were hiding in the buildings, the wounded soldiers had already been killed.
In a situation like this throwing them as a distraction would do nothing. Throwing smoke grenades where you're going through is very bad for two reasons; one, even as early as World War II, people figured out "hey concealing smoke, they're going through that area now let's start firing" and two, the chemicals used in smoke grenades are very, very nasty to inhale; like extremely carcinogenic nasty. If you did what most people were doing by this time (and still do) throw them elsewhere to distract, well in a situation like this they know you're just trying to distract them to make a move for their wounded and all you just did was tip them off that you're about to move.
No, throwing smoke grenades is still a good idea, even today. It's not a distraction. It's used for concealment. It's less effective when you have an enemy with numerous weapons trained on you and plenty of ammo, especially if he has machine guns, but it's still better than nothing and it's especially effective when you're facing an enemy with few weapons or very little ammo. The smoke conceals your movement. The enemy knows (or thinks) you're going to go through there and he might even fire into the smoke and hope to hit you, but the difference is, he doesn't know exactly where you are (like he does when there's no smoke), won't know if he hit you, and won't know if you've moved. You could pop somoke, then stay where you are and try to draw him out, shift positions to get a better view of his position, flank him or bypass his position, or advance. Smoke is a good thing. I'd rather inhale the stuff than have him have an unobstructed view of my movement.
Yeah, because the sniper who has you pinned down and in all likelihood knows that stepping outside the building is basically signing her own death warrant is so going to leave cover and get drawn into the open.
Throwing smokes in an attempt to save Doc Jay and Eightball would have just drawn fire from an, at that point, unknown enemy force. Had they known before they got killed that it was just one sniper, they likely would have tried to flank the sniper position instead of directly trying to rescue the wounded Marines while leaving the sniper free to fire. In reality, Cowboy shouldn't have sent Eightball in by himself to begin with.
Did they even have smoke grenades?
They did, and used them when they were flanking the sniper position. But they didn't use them before, because they had no idea where the sniper was and Cowboy thought she was backed by a large enemy force (as discussed above).
If R. Lee Ermey improvised a great deal of his lines, how did he manage to improvise something that's about 99% similar to Gustav Hasford's original novel?
Because Hasford joined the USMC, and Ermey used to be a USMC Drill Instructor? Ermey was a DI from '65 to '67, Hasford joined the USMC in '67, depending on the exact dates and where Hasford went through Boot, it's entirely possible (although doubtful) that he had Ermey as a DI. The more likely explanation comes from the fact that there is a training course that teaches drill instructors how to properly train recruits.
One of the Aesops of the film was delivered by Eightball when he sarcastically says the Vietnamese are dumb because they would rather be alive than be free. This is delivered by a black male at a time where the work of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and others who died to see equal rights for all would be especially fresh in the people's mind. This just bugs me. I'm sure Patrick Henry, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and the Free French would agree with me.
No, they wouldn't. Because they probably know what sarcasm is.
Did it occur to you that Eightball was a moron?
I wouldn't call Eightball a moron. I think most humans have mixed feelings about dying for freedom. The self-preservation instinct is very strong.
How is Hartman killed with one shot to the gut immediately? Usually the victim of a shot to the gut would be in immense pain for a while and then die.
Dramatic effect. Then again, he is shot with a high-powered 7.62x51mm rifle, as opposed to a pistol.
At close-range a full metal jacket bullet does more damage than a distances. The main disadvantage of the FMJ bullets is their inability to expand fully once in a target at long distances. However, this is somewhat cancelled out when used at close range. Which also could have knocked him unconscious while he died. This could be why they named it Full Metal Jacket.
Hit to the abdominal aorta - the major artery running through your midsection, about the size of a garden hose and under about as much pressure, and which runs parallel to the inferior vena cava, an equally large vein. Severing both of them results in hypovolemia severe enough to cause loss of consciousness within about thirty seconds, with death by exsanguination following a few minutes thereafter.
If we assume he goes into shock or passes out immediately after being hit, then it doesn't matter if it actually took him a few more minutes to stop breathing.
Where did the doorgunner go? And the machine-gun? Okay I understand kicking out the doorgunner, but the M60 is worth something. Both were absent while the chopper landed.
The doorgunner is visible in the rear of the chopper through its window, he took a backseat with his gun at some point.
What does Hartman mean when he yells he'll motivate Pyle even if he has to short-dick every cannibal in the Congo? Castration of every aborigine? Great feat but motivating how?.
It can be seen as the Sgt. talking about the superlative efforts he'd do is meant more for the audience than for Pyle, in that he is also venting some of his genuine frustration for once, not only invoking a facade.
There are several issues I have with the lead up to Pyle shooting Hartman dead. First of all how did Pyle get into the armory and attain ammunition for his gun? Why did Joker simply let Pyle get to the point where he could load bullets into the gun? The moment Hartman woke up from his sleep, due to Pyle chanting the Marine motto, why didn't he get someone to accompany him into the room to confront Pyle? There just appear to be so many things that could have been done to prevent this incident from happening.
As to the ammo, I always assumed he squirreled it away when he was at target practice. I'm assuming that they had more than one day at the rifle range, and it wouldn't be impossible to take one or two bullets each time and hide them until you were ready to use them.
So the government invests lots of time and money into training Joker to be a ruthless and efficient US Marines killer. And at the end of it - they send him to Vietnam as a journalist. What, as the kidz would say, is all _that_ about?
They are also attempting to win "hearts and minds" and trying to appease the home front, so for that they need some people able to handle themselves in the shit and with half a brain. Hartman is in disbelief too, but it's only a small proportion of the trainees afterall, most of the privates are assigned grunt duties. One of the points of the movie is that the war is not an example of "managerial acumen" (read sanity), there is hardly a Reasonable Authority Figure in the whole picture; the senior officer shown in the movie (Colonel) is a joke and Joker's lieutenant disregards the Tet-offensive when Joker brings up the rumors.