VariaGallery / Sample frames
Credits and
production data
  • From the book by Dalton Trumbo.
  • Screenplay by Dalton Trumbo.
  • Directed by Dalton Trumbo.
  • Produced by the Robert Rich Production Co.
  • Bruce Campbell, line producer.

    Movie facts:

  • Shot in Los Angeles, local locations and Raleigh Studio.
  • Color and black & white
  • Film developed and printed by CFI Lab.

    Cast:
    Timothy Bottoms, Donald Sutherland, Jason Robards, Jr., Kathy Fields, Diane Varsi, Marsha Hunt, Charles McGraw, Eduard Franz

    Awards:

  • Cannes: Grand Prix special du Jury (Feature Film) 1971
  • Cannes: Prix de la critique internationale (fipresci) (Feature Film) 1971
  • Approximately 15 other national and international awards.


    All images are the work of the website author.


    Tech Notes:

  • The movie was photographed in 1.85:1 ratio. Some frames shown here are not in the full width. This compromise is for the purpose of fitting more clips on the page while preserving the essence of the compositions.


  • Frames from the movie,
    "Johnny Got His Gun"

    Cinematographer: Jules Brenner
    Filmography on IMDB

    Caught I remember... Anticipation Farewell Home again An unusual case The bakery: bad news A sad day The Card Game The Conductor Mom and me Dalton: the Huckster On the lake with dad What's going on with this patient? In the workshop w/Dad In the workshop w/Christ Eager, but a fact is a fact These facts are a lot to bear Escape to fantasy In the trenches Desert visions Diane Varsi, compassionate nurse Final destiny

    The actual production slate
    used in making "Johnny Got His Gun"
    (Reproduction available for purchase)

    Click on the slate
    for a larger view:


    Cinematographer's comment:
    "This movie was a cinematographer's opportunity of a lifetime. "Johnny Got His Gun" is one of the most moving books I've ever read and, some might say, ever written. To work with the author of this work, to translate his internal images to the screen, was one of the most personally meaningful things I've done in my career. To have this collaborative relationship with a victim of the McCarthy political hysteria and one of the "Hollywood Ten" who were exiled from Hollywood--gave my experience on this film historic dimensions. It's fair to say that it's an unforgettable highlight in the creative side of my life."
                                                        ~~ Jules Brenner


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    Notes & News:
    Since the 70's and the brief time that "Johnny..." appeared on Laser Discs, we have received many inquiries about where to secure a copy of it. An even greater indication of the enduring interest in the film is the steady traffic to this site since it was posted in the late 1980's. Topping all that are the DVD developments of the past two years. Those of us who have lived to see and participate in what this interest has meant in terms of DVD availability were pleased by a German DVD which was released in 2006 with an interview feature titled, "Dalton Trumbo: Rebell in Hollywood" (German spelling), and a French-European version without the extras. Now, we are extremely pleased to announce that a North American version, loaded with special features, is available. See the links below for immediate ordering.
    Here're the latest details:

    The SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Dalton Trumbo: Rebel in Hollywood documentary (2006)
  • Interview with Timothy Bottoms
  • Metallica music video "One"
  • Rare behind-the-scenes footage with commentary by Timothy Bottoms and Director of Photography Jules Brenner
  • 1940 radio adaptation of Johnny Got His Gun starring James Cagney
  • Johnny Got His Gun article from American Cinematographer Magazine (1971)
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Replica of the original movie poster

    The first item includes interviews with director-writer Dalton Trumbo's son Christopher Trumbo who was the Associate Producer of the film, Marcia Hunt who played Joe Bonham's mother, Production Designer Harold Michelson, cinematographer Jules Brenner, and more).

    (See purchase links below).

    Any DVD previously obtained from a source in the U.S. and Canada is not sanctioned and is pirated.

    Some History

    Prints that have been aired in the U.S., notably on the Independent Movie Channel (IMC) and on Bravo are now truly obsolete. The print used was terrible, so good riddance. If you see a version that doesn't have at least as good quality as the frames above, you haven't seen "Johnny Got His Gun" the way you should.

    The heavy metal group Metallica payed homage to "Johnny Got His Gun" in 1989 and their short film titled "One" is included as an extra feature. Many people have cited it to me as their introduction to the film. Because it uses excerpts from the movie, Trumbo is credited as the director. It's included on the DVD.

    There was also A Play: it may surprise you (it did me) that someone had adapted Dalton Trumbo's work for a one-man stage performance. Bradley Rand Smith wrote and directed the adaptation with considerable skill and faithfulness. Actor Grant Tyler performed it stunningly at Arye Gross' Stages Theatre Center in Los Angeles (2/3/03). A film of the stage play was released in 2008 with "Johnny Got His Gun" as the title. Not to be confused with the original.

    In 2007, Christopher Trumbo, Dalton's son, created another play, titled "Trumbo," a biography based on his father's letters, which traces his stature as a major screenwriter ("Exodus," "Spartacus," "Lonely Are the Brave"), his rebellious appearance before Joe McCarthy's congressional hearings, his Hollywood blacklisting as one of the "Hollywood Ten," time in jail and eventual return and redemption. In 2008, a movie was released that was based on Christopher Trumbo's screenplay adaptation of his play.

    During our filming of "Johnny Got His Gun," Dalton handed me the script of the next film he wanted to direct. We would do it after completing his next assignment as writer (and a minor role as actor) on "Papillon" with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. Before that next directorial project found backing, however, Dalton passed away, on September 10, 1976.


  • A few early Reviews & comments on the new DVD:
    "... a devastating and haunting film with several images that will burn themselves into your memory and be hard to shake..."
    DVD talk, review by Jeffrey Kauffman (3/17/09)

    "a masterfully crafted film that explores the consequences of war in a uniquely intimate way."
    digitally OBSESSED!

    "Though he wrote the novel in 1939, when Hollywood Ten survivor Dalton Trumbo finally got to transform Johnny Got His Gun (1971) into a film, it had become all the more timely."
    ~ Lucia Bozzola, All Movie Guide (quoted on F.Y.E.)

    "Johnny Got His Gun should be shown to everyone in the government, the military and the United Nations as required viewing."
    ~ Jimmy Carter (quoted on DVDuell)

    Letters:
    (From Spain, 9/23/01:) "I've been involved in film making and visual storytelling for a long number of years now. The film just happened to be aired last night on national TV, although at a very late time, about 12:30 a.m. (on TVE2). Amazing, great storytelling (looks so fresh even 30 years later I'm really impressed). Great cinematography...it definitely has such a strong, visual personality I don't think I'll ever be able to forget those images."
    ~~ Marcos

    "Forgive me if I am simply passing on information that you already have, but you didn't list it on the website. I had the extraordinary luck of happening upon a copy of Johnny Got His Gun in a shopping cart in a grocery store that was liquidating its video collection, and bought it for the exorbitant price of $2.99. It is the most prized item in my video collection, and I am absolutely unwilling to part with it, but I thought you might like to know that it was distributed by Media Home Entertainment, with a copyright from that company dated 1985. Perhaps if enough people write to MHE, they might re-release it. I personally find it a horrible shame that this film is no longer available to the public, as it is possibly the most powerful piece of filmmaking I have ever seen (especially a shame that we have lost Donald Sutherland's incredible performance as Jesus Christ)."

    Sincerely, AG

    The cover of the original video jacket


    Get these now!

    The Book!

    that Dalton Trumbo based his movie on. Buy it with the movie.
    The 2009 release of Johnny Got His Gun: the first sanctioned for North America and with a comprehensive, highly relevant collection of extra features.
    By Shout! Factory.





    Full PAL format DVD of "Johnny Got His Gun"
    in English subtitles and German.
    The German title: Johnny zieht in den Krieg available from Amazon, Germany. This DVD offers the best print quality.

    Picture quality good enough to satisfy the cinematographer! In PAL format (most computer DVD drives play it).
    One of the extras is "Dalton Trumbo: A Rebell in Hollywood," a 60-minute documentary about Trumbo's life leading up to the making of the film, produced and directed by Robert Fischer. Interviews with Chris Trumbo, Dalton's son; Marsha Hunt, actress; Jules Brenner, cinematographer; Hal Michelson, Production Designer, and others. They take you through the film with commentary about their experiences with Dalton Trumbo from their multiple perspectives. It plays in English (with German subtitles) or in German.



    Comments? Questions? Tips? More credits info? Availability for assignments?
    Send email: JohnnyMsg@variagate.com


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