The Big Shave (1967) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big Shave (1967)

The Big Shave




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Martin Scorsese's experimental short, The Big Shave, materialized during one of the director's harrowing bouts with depression -- a time when he had trouble shaving. An anonymous young man (Peter Bernuth) enters a pristine white bathroom and begins shaving to the tune of Bunny Berigan's 1939 recording of "I Can't Get Started." The man shaves slowly and methodically, stoically piercing through his skin and bloodying his surroundings. Shot on ten rolls of Afga color film donated by the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, The Big Shave was originally conceived for the weeklong anti-Vietnam protest "The Angry Arts Against the War." The man's self-destructive obsessive behavior stands as a metaphor for the United States' involvement in the conflict. The six-minute picture premiered instead at Jacques Ledox's 1968 Festival of Experimental Cinema in Belgium, where it won Le Prix de L'Age d'Or. Beware; it is not for the faint hearted!more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Martin Scorsese


Peter Bernuth
as Young Man

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Critic Reviews for The Big Shave

All Critics (1)

A personal statement film.

Full Review… | April 4, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Big Shave


This is a very cool Scorsese short that you can easily watch on Flixster's page for this film. For '67 this is some nice blood fx, very dark and consistently colored blood. Great little soundtrack, but some sound fx would improve this greatly. Many say that this short is about Vietnam, but as FilmAddykt observes, this can also be a metaphor for vanity. Expanding on that thought, I think this is about self-destruction brought about by vanity, ego, being over the top, or any similar destructive excess which one perpetrates in pursuit of perfection.

_kelly .King

Super Reviewer

Gripping, bloody and basic early attempt by Scorsese

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


You can see it at

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

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