Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket
Theatrical release poster

Directed by

Stanley Kubrick

Produced by

Stanley Kubrick

Jan Harlan

Written by

Stanley Kubrick

Michael Herr

Gustav Hasford

Based on

"The Short-Timers"

Gustav Hasford

Music by

Abigail Mead


Douglas Milsome

Editing by

Martin Hunter

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 anti-war film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick. It is based on The Short-Timers, a 1979 semi-autobiographical book by Gustav Hasford. Regarded as one of Kubrick's finest later films, most professional critics state that it is among the greatest and most accurate films of its genre. The title of the film refers to the full metal jacket bullet used by infantry rivalmen.


The film is completely divided into two parts, with one part being the training in the army. The second part is the actual war. Smart-aleck Private Davis, the christened Joker by his rude drill sergeant, and Private Lawrence undergo the rigors of basic but excessive training in the army. Lawrence takes a private detour, while Joker ends up graduating to the Marine Corps and is sent to Vietnam as a journalist.


Full Metal Jacket was nominated for eleven awards between 1987 and 1989. These included an Academy Award (and Writers Guild of America Award) for Best Adapted Screenplay, two BAFTA Awards (Best Sound and Best Special Effects), a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor (R. Lee Ermey), and Best Foreign Language Film from the Awards of the Japanese Academy. The five won included the Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (awarded by the Boston Society of Film Critics), as well as the London Critics Circle Film Award for Director of the Year and two foreign awards: the David di Donatello Award for Best Producer - Foreign Film and the Kinema Jumpo Award for Best Foreign Language Film Director.