Full Metal Jacket, the 1987 epic war film directed, co-written, and produced by Stanley Kubrick, is regarded by many as one of the greatest action films of all time.
Starring the likes of Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey and, Vincent D’Onofrio, Kubrick adapted the film alongside Michael Herr based on the 1979 novel The Short-Timers which was written by Gustav Hasford.
Following the two privates, ‘Joker’ and ‘Pyle’ as they struggle alongside a platoon of U.S. Marines who are being put through their paces at boot camp training, the film was released to critical acclaim and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
“Stanley Kubrick’s take on the Vietnam War follows smart-aleck Private Davis, quickly christened ‘Joker’ by his foul-mouthed drill sergeant, and pudgy Private Lawrence, nicknamed Gomer Pyle’, as they endure the rigours of basic training,” the official film synopsis reads. “Though Pyle takes a frightening detour, Joker graduates to the Marine Corps and is sent to Vietnam as a journalist, covering—and eventually participating in—the bloody Battle of Hué.”
The film was big business, not only was it Kubrick’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to The Shining, the project had received substantial backing from Warner Bros. whose funds were ploughed into the budget. Thankfully for them—and the fans of Kubrick who had waited seven years for his next project—the film proved a major box office hit.
While we’ve already explored the candid images from Matthew Modine’s photo diary while he was on set, some long-lost footage captured behind the scenes of the film has been unearthed in the years that followed its release.
Filmed by Vivian Kubrick, the daughter of Stanley and the person responsible for the score of Full Metal Jacket, segments of her handheld footage started to emerge in documentaries exploring the work of Kubrick in recent years.
In the clip below, Kubrick and his crew can be heard angrily debating the amount of time filming was paused for tea breaks to some hilarity.
If you’re going to film in England, Stanley, be prepared for the copious amounts of tea that needs to be divulged while working.