Trivia / Full Metal Jacket

  • Adam Westing: Full Metal Jacket is the source of most subsequent R. Lee Ermey's roles. Ermey is playing himself, given his past as a Marine Drill Instructor.
  • AFI's 100 Years… 100 Thrills: #95
  • California Doubling: London for both Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and for Vietnam.
  • Cast the Expert: R. Lee Ermey was originally just a technician on the film, there to make a couple of films to advise the actor playing the Drill Sergeant Nasty on how it should be done. Then Kubrick saw his tapes... said tapes were of Ermey performing his Drill Sergeant Nasty speeches while being constantly pelted with rotten oranges for fifteen minutes. He never stopped, flubbed, or repeated himself throughout the whole thing.
  • Completely Different Title: While a few countries went for variations for "metal jacket", in South America (plus Portugal) went for the poster, translating Joker's "Born To Kill". Central America went for yet another scene, Cara de guerra, "War face".
  • Creator Killer: Could be considered one for Stanley Kubrick; the man didn't direct another movie for 12 years, and the next one, Eyes Wide Shut, would turn out to be his last due to Author Existence Failure; his other major project, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, was taken up by Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • One scene cut from the movie showed a group of Marines playing soccer. The scene was cut because a shot revealed they were kicking a human head, not a soccer ball.
    • A sex scene with Pvt. Joker and the Vietnamese prostitute was cut. According to the actress, Stanley Kubrick cut the scene because it detracted from the cold mood of the film.
    • R. Lee Ermey claimed that a scene was cut in which Hartmann breaks character and warmly expresses pride toward the recruits for having completed their training.
  • Dub Name Change: The German dub changed Private Pyle's nickname to "Private Paula", replacing the insult of being an incompetent Marine (as Gomer Pyle was on The Andy Griffith Show) with one of being a woman. "Private Snowball" became "Private Scheewittchen", which means "Private Snow White," keeping the Ironic Nickname and adding the additional insult of being like a fairy princess.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Vincent D'Onofrio gained so much weight for his role as Pvt. Gomer Pyle, that he tore ligaments in his knees during the obstacle course scene. He surpassed Robert De Niro's record (for Raging Bull) for most weight gained for a role, over 70 pounds. He would gain weight again for Wilson Fisk in Daredevil, a version of Marvel's Kingpin that has some traits of Gomer Pyle.
  • Enforced Method Acting: To make the recruits' reactions to Gunnery Sgt. Hartman as realistic as possible, Stanley Kubrick made sure that R. Lee Ermey did not socialize with the actors playing recruits. They also didn't get to meet him prior to filming.
  • Fake American: The gung-ho Colonel who asks Joker why he wears a helmet that says "Born to Kill" and a peace sign is played by Canadian actor Bruce Boa.
  • Fake Nationality: The actress who played the Vietnamese hooker is actually of Chinese and French descent. Arguably averted — a mixed-race ethnic Chinese and French bastard could easily have been found in 1960s Vietnam, and would have been a likely candidate for the sex trade in that time and place.
  • Name's the Same: Joker has no connection to Shin's chief lackey or the Clown Prince of Crime, or the pilot of the ''Normandy'' for that matter.
  • Real-Life Relative: Stanley Kubrick's daughter Vivienne Kubrick composed the original music, under the pseudonym Abigail Mead (adapated from the name of the family home, Abbot's Mead).
  • Sampling: The rap group 2 Live Crew sampled the infamous "Oh me so horny/Me love you long time" lines for their hit single "Me So Horny."
  • Star-Making Role: For R. Lee Ermey and Vincent D'Onofrio.
  • Throw It In:
    • Many of R. Lee Ermey's lines as Hartman were ad-libbed. He was one of the few actors allowed to go Off the Rails in Stanley Kubrick's films, who is known for his meticulous control of every part of the story. When filming the scene where GySgt Hartman is berating new recruits, the "reach-around" comment was tossed in by Ermey, and not originally in the script. Kubrick stopped the filming to ask what that meant. After it was explained, he laughed, and decided to include it in the final film.
    • Ermey is also a notable subversion. Kubrick disliked improvisation as it usually played hell with his shooting schedules. Ermey, in a major role for the first time and eager to impress, spent so much time with the dialogue coach that he was able to finish his scripted material in very few takes, allowing him the time necessary to throw in his own flourishes —all added to the shooting script and delivered verbatim— with Kubrick's blessing.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger turned down the role of Animal Mother in order to star in The Running Man.
    • Val Kilmer auditioned for Pvt. Joker. According to Matthew Modine, Kilmer confronted Modine in a restaurant and challenged Modine to a fight because he believed that Modine had stolen the part from him. But Modine was not even aware of the film at the time. Modine later sent Kubrick footage from Vision Quest and won the part.
    • Bruce Willis was offered the role of Pvt. Joker, but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts with Moonlighting.
    • Denzel Washington was considered for Eightball and has said that it is a role that he regrets missing out on.
    • The door gunner's actor would've played Hartman, had R. Lee Ermey not been singled out by Kubrick after seeing his handiwork.
    • William Hope was also offered a role. He turned it down in favor of Aliens.
    • Bill McKinney was supposed to play Hartman, but Kubrick refused to meet with him because he was so scared by his performance as the mountain man from Deliverance.
    • Mike Allred, the creator of the comicbook Mad Man and frequent Marvel Comics artist auditioned for the role of Joker.

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