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The Great Santini Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jeff Shannon

Robert Duvall gives one of his most memorable performances in the title role of this 1979 drama about a hardcore Marine lieutenant named Bull Meechum (Duvall), a fighter ace who calls himself "The Great Santini" and compensates for peacetime inactivity by waging war on his intimidated children. His wife (Blythe Danner) lovingly tolerates his behavior, but his 18-year-old son (Michael O'Keefe) is working up the courage to defy the domineering patriarch, whose need for competition borders on maniacal. When push comes to shove (and shove they certainly do), the son earns his father's begrudging respect, and as it turns out, just in time. Military brats may recognize their own experience in this comedic drama, but anyone can relate to the Meechum family's patriarchal dysfunction. Writer-director Lewis John Carlino (adapting the novel by Pat Conroy) does a fine job of balancing humor with the kind of stressful anxiety that can either strengthen a family or tear it apart. Both Duvall and O'Keefe were deservedly nominated for Academy Awards.

Academy Awards

The Great Santini received Academy Awards nominations for Actor (Robert Duval) and Supporting Actor (Michael O'Keefe).

Share Your Memories!

Is The Great Santini one of your favorite movies? What do you remember about it? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"The description of the film says that Robert Duval's character was a "lieutenant" when, in fact, he was a "lieutenant colonel.""

--Private Pamela Anderson

"Actually, I was there during the filming of the movie. In addition, my 1955 Chevy was used as an 'extra' during shooting.

A great deal of the marine shots were done at marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, S. C. and I was just out of camera range when Bull (Robert Duval) was giving his ready room speaches.

I had enjoyed the book for years and was thrilled to see it in the making."




Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Lewis John Carlino

Stars: Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, David Keith

Released: October 26, 1979

Availability: DVD VHS

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