The Great Santini

  • 1979
  • 1 HR 55 MIN
  • PG
  • Drama, War

Robert Duvall received an Academy Award nomination for his forceful performance as a warrior without a war in this touching, well-crafted drama based on the novel by Pat Conroy. As Marine pilot Bull Meechum, he rules his family with military discipline, setting impossibly high standards for his four children (Julie Anne Haddock, Brian Andrews, Lisa Jane...read more

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Robert Duvall received an Academy Award nomination for his forceful performance as a warrior without a war in this touching, well-crafted drama based on the novel by Pat Conroy.

As Marine pilot Bull Meechum, he rules his family with military discipline, setting impossibly high standards for his four children (Julie Anne Haddock, Brian Andrews, Lisa Jane Persky, and Michael O'Keefe). When Bull's harsh manner becomes too oppressive for his offspring, they know that their

mother, Lillian (Blythe Danner), is there to provide an understanding shoulder to cry on, especially the sensitive Ben (O'Keefe), whose battle to earn his father's respect is most tellingly played out in one-on-one basketball games that force Bull to play dirty to win. Although Bull's kids are

never able to reach their father, they do offer him the kind of stoic tribute that would have made him proud when tragedy strikes.

Deftly scripted, beautifully shot--making good use of its South Carolina locations--and magnificently acted, The Great Santini garnered Academy nominations for both Duvall and O'Keefe. Though its emotions are big, the performances are so nicely nuanced that sentiment never overwhelms the story's

emotional realism. In addition to Duvall's tour-de-force performance, Danner is outstanding as the nurturing mother, and O'Keefe's heartfelt portrayal of the tortured son earned him an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor.

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  • Released: 1979
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Robert Duvall received an Academy Award nomination for his forceful performance as a warrior without a war in this touching, well-crafted drama based on the novel by Pat Conroy. As Marine pilot Bull Meechum, he rules his family with military discipline, s… (more)

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