• Unrated, 1 hr. 45 min.
  • Drama, Classics
  • Directed By:
    Jack Webb
    In Theaters:
    May 30, 1957 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 23, 2009
  • Warner Bros.


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The D.I. (The Drill Instructor) Reviews

Page 1 of 1
January 29, 2008
Glorifying the 1950's Era USMC as only the detail-freak genius Jack Webb could, this is a worthy cornerstone to his legacy. With some of the most memorable lines ever written for a military film, and painstaking detail as expected from Webb. You can tell that he is having a ball portraying this character, and he takes advantage of the opportunity to the maximum, even down to fanatical details of uniform fit and finish for himself and the cast. This film is a cult classic that still makes subsequent films on the same subject quail in comparison, good though they may be (i.e. "Boys in Company C", "Full Metal Jacket", "Take The High Ground" - a film not on the Flixter database as of this writing-"Officer & a Gentleman", etc) and Webb's character T/Sgt. Moore does it without uttering a single profanity(!), unlike the others. The cast is 95% actual Marine NCO's. Though the story bows to Studio conventions of the day (i.e. subcurrent love story, of course with mind-bogglingly beautiful women picked for the roles, especially Webb's enamorata and the Southern-Belle club singer. These sexy babes were not scared of wearing tight skirts and spiked-Heels!. Webb favorite, Actress Virginia Gregg turns in a short but effectively soulful performance here as a Marine mother, and of course a few joke setups that were seen as corny even then), with well shot scenes of sharply uniformed Jarheads partying down at the local illegal booze carrying "Slop-Chute"(with an interestingly realistic fight scene), this film would either inspire one to join up or frighten others in terror of such tough training and discipline, as I am certain it has done over generations. The "murder" of a Sand Flea incident is worth the price of admission alone, and the aforementioned lines, superior to anything Tarantino has done, will ring in your head long after the credits roll. The response to being surrounded by a superior enemy force is pure classicism. Taken in proper context, you may well find, as I have, a little spot of respect and affection for this well-crafted military melodrama that I never tire of watching. I cannot recommend this film highly enough, 1st class buttered popcorn time is to be had here. A double feature of this one followed by "Pork Chop Hill" would make an effective "Yin&Yang" of the era. I have yet to see the DVD transfer, and will update when I finally aquire a copy.
April 1, 2009
one of my faveorites. seen it in camp pendleton and has been along time ago, sort of the the book MAGGOT'S. makes me laugh...
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