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The Great Santini

The Great Santini is a 1979 American drama film written and directed by Lewis John Carlino, based on the 1976 novel of the same name by Pat Conroy. The film stars Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, and Michael O'Keefe, and tells the story of a U.S. Marine Corps officer whose success as an F-4 Phantom military aviator contrasts with his shortcomings as a husband and father. Set in 1962, before widespread American involvement in the Vietnam War, the plot explores the high price of heroism and self-sacrifice.

Plot

A warrior without a war, Lt. Col. Wilbur "Bull" Meechum, a pilot also known as "The Great Santini" to his fellow Marines, moves his family to the military base town of Beaufort, South Carolina, in peacetime 1962. His wife Lillian is loyal and docile, tolerant of Meechum's temper and drinking. Their teenaged kids, Ben and Mary Anne, are accustomed to his stern discipline and behave accordingly, while adapting to their new town and school.

Awards