Full Metal Jacket a screenplay by Stanley Kubrick & Michael Herr

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Full Metal Jacket

A Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick & Michael Herr

The following is a replication of the typescript copy; due to the vagaries of HTML, passages in the text which were underscored (representing both voice-over narration and emphasised text) are represented in this instance by italic type; otherwise, the typographic features, formatting, spacing, and spelling (including typographical errors) have been retained. The copy used for this facsimile is an 8.5"x11" photocopy of the original, which was produced on legal-sized paper, using typeface Courier 12pt. with 1.5-line spacing, three-hole punched, and numbered sequentially as shown. Page breaks in the typescript are represented here by dotted lines.

Copyright ©1985,1998 Stanley Kubrick & Michael Herr, All Rights Reserved.







Stanley Kubrick


Michael Herr

Based on the novel



Gustav Hasford







The Marines are looking for a few good men...
Barbershop. A row of barbers with electric

clippers work ankle deep in hair as they give the

young Marine recruits a 30-second, skin-head

haircut. We see Joker, Cowboy and Leonard.

A drill instructor shouts at the line of

waiting recruits: "You are about to receive your

first Marine Corps recruit haircut. You will be

shaved completely bald.

"If you have a mole, bump, scar or anything

else protruding from your head, and by protruding

I mean anything sticking up out of your head, the

minute you sit down in that chair place your

finger on whatever if is on your head, and let the

barber know whatever is there, verbally, by

saying, 'Sir, the Private has a mole on his


Dawn. Green Marines. Two junior drill

instructors screaming, "GET IN LINE! GET IN LINE!


buildings. Willow trees hung thick with Spanish

moss. The shaved recruits standing tall on yellow

footprints painted in a pattern on the concrete

Parris Island, South Carolina, the United

States Marine Corps Recruit Depot, an

eight-week college for the phoney-tough and

the crazy-brave.
"I am Gunnery Sergeant Gerheim, your senior

drill instructor. And these are your junior drill

instructors, Corporal Durrane and Corporal

Seaton. From now on, you will speak only when

spoken to, and the first word out of your mouth

will be, sir! Do you maggots understand that?"

The recruits mumble "Yes, sir," but not in


"I can't hear you! Sound off like you got a



Gunnery Sergeant Gerheim spits. "Listen up,

herd. You maggots had better start looking like

United States Marine Corps recruits. Do not think

for one second that you are Marines. You just

dropped by to pick up a set of dress blues. Am I

right, ladies?"



Joker says in a John Wayne voice: "I think

I'm going to hate this movie."

Cowboy laughs.

Gunnery Sergeant Gerheim laughs, too. The

senior drill instructor is an obscene little ogre

in immaculate khaki.

Sergeant Gerheim walks slowly back along the

line of recruits. "Who said that?"


Sergeant Gerheim peers into each face. "Who

said that?"

"I did, sir," Joker says.

Sergeant Gerheim aims his index finger

between Joker's eyes and says, "Private Joker... I

like honesty. I like you. You can come over to

my house and fuck my sister."

He grins. He punches Joker in the stomach.

Joker sinks to his knees.

"You little scumbag. I got your name. I got

your ass. You will not laugh. You will not cry.

You will learn by the numbers. I will teach you.

Get up!"

Joker gets to his feet and comes to attention.

Leonard Pratt grins.

Sergeant Gerheim puts his fists on his hips.

"If you ladies leave my island, if you survive

recruit training, you will be a weapon, you will

be a minister of death, praying for war. And

proud. Until that day you are pukes, you are

scumbags, you are the lowest term of life on

Earth. You are not even human. You people are

nothing but a lot of little pieces of amphibian


Leonard Pratt grins.

"You got a name, scumbag?"

"Leonard Pratt, sir," he says with a thick

hillbilly accent.

"Like hell it is! From now on you're Gomer


Leonard Grins.

"Private Pyle thinks I am a real funny guy.

He thinks that Parris Island is more fun then a

sucking chest wound."

The hillbilly's fact is frozen into a

permanent expression of oat-fed innocence.

He punches Leonard in the chest.

"You maggots are not going to have any fun

here. You are not going to enjoy standing in

straight lines and you are not going to enjoy

massaging your own wand. My orders are to weed

out all nonhackers who do not pack the gear to

serve in my beloved Corps. Because I am hard, you

will not like me. But the more you hate me, the

more you will learn. I am hard but I am fair.

There is no racial bigotry here. We do not look

down on niggers, kikes, wop or greasers, because

here you are all equally worthless. Do you


Some of them mumble, "Yes. Yeah. Yes,sir."

"I can't hear you, ladies!"

"Yes, sir!"

"I still can't hear you, ladies!"


"You piss me off. Hit the deck."

They crumple down onto the parade deck.

"You got no motivation. Do you hear me,

maggots? Listen up. I will give you motivation.

You have no esprit de corp. I will give you

esprit de corps. You have no traditions. I will

give you traditions. And I will show you how to

live up to them.

Sergeant Gerheim struts, ramrod straight,

hands on hips. "GET UP! GET UP!"

They get up, knees Sore, hands gritty.

Sergeant Gerheim says to his two junior drill

instructors: "What a humble herd." Then to the

recruits: "You silly scumbags are too slow. Hit

the deck."







Sergeant Gerheim steps over their struggling

bodies, stomps fingers, kicks ribs with the toe of

his boot. "Jesus H. Christ. You maggots are

huffing and puffing the way your momma did the

first time your old man put the meat to her."



Up. Muscles aching.

Leonard Pratt is slow getting up.

Sergeant Gerheim stands over him. "Okay,

scumbag, on your feet."

Leonard gets up on one knee, hesitates, then

stands up, inhaling and exhaling. He grins.

"Why are you grinning at me, Private Pyle?"

"I don't know, sir."

"You are grinning at me, you ugly ape!"

"I can't help it, sir!"

"You got a crush on me?"

"No, sir!"

"You want to smoke my pole?"

"No, sir!"

"Then you hate me? You want to kill me?"

"No, sir!"

"Don't lie to me."

"Sir, I'm not...lying to you."

"YOU? YOU? Did you say YOU? Do you know

what a ewe is? A ewe is a female sheep. A female

sheep is for fucking!"


"Why do you want to fuck your drill


Sergeant Gerheim punches Leonard in the chest

hard. Leonard doubles over with pain. "LOCK THEM


Leonard comes to attention. Eyes front. But

the trace of a grin remains.

"Wipe that grin off your face."

The grin is involuntary and Leonard cannot

always control it.

Sergeant Gerheim backhands Leonard across the



Leonard locks his heels. Leonard's lips are

busted, pink and purple, and his mouth is bloody,

but Leonard only shrugs and grins as though

Gunnery Sergeant Gerheim had just given him a

birthday present.

"Why did you join the Marines Cops?"

"To become a man, Sir!"

"Private Pyle, you may just be the dumbest

United States Marine recruit in Marine Corps



Close order drill, Leonard makes a mistake.

"Private Pyle, what are you trying to do to

my beloved Corps?"

"I'm sorry, sir," Leonard says.

"You are dumb Private Pile but do you expect

me to believe you don't know right from left?"

"No, sir."

"Then you did it on purpose. You want to be


"No, sir." The trace of a grin appears at

the corners of his mouth.

"You think I'm stupid."

"No, sir."

"Then why are you grinning at me?"

"I'm not grinning, sir!"

Gerheim hits Leonard on the right side of his

face, a hard stunning clap. Pain takes the grin


"What side was that?"

"Right ride, sir!"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, sir!"

He slaps him just as hard on the left side.

"And what side was that?"

"Left, sir," Leonard says blinking with


"Don't fuck with me again, scumbag."

"Yes, sir!"

The close order drill continues.

Beatings, we learn, are a routine element of

life on Parris Island. And not that

I'm-only-rough-on-'um-because-I-love-'um crap

in Mr. John Wayne's "The Sands of Iwo Jima".

Mess hall. The recruits move sideways at the

position of attention, trays held flat against

their chests, pressed close to the man in front of

them, the DI's shouting, "Assholes to

belly-button! Assholes to belly-button!"

Mounds of scrambled eggs are piled high on

each tray, with sausages, bacon, hashed brown

potatoes, cereal, toast and grapefruit.

The recruits follow the man in front of them

from the food counter to tables which hold

twelve. They stand at attention while one recruit

says grace, reading from a printed plastic card

which looks like a menu and which has its own

little stand on each table.

On the command the recruits sit. Sergeant

Gerheim suddenly appears at Leonard's place and

bellows, "Private Pyle!"

Leonard leaps to his feet. "Yes sir!"

Sergeant Gerheim sweeps Leonard's tray to the

floor with a loud crash of dishes and cutlery.

"Private Pyle, the doctors have certified

you as a fatbody. With those tits on you you

belong in Playboy. You will receive half-portions

at all meals and no deserts, potatoes, bread, jam

or butter! Is that clear?"

"Aye, aye, sir!"


Various training shots. Leonard being

shouted at and beaten.

For the first four weeks of recruit training

Leonard continues to grin, even though he

receives more then his share of the

beatings. Even having the shit beat out of

him with calculated regularity fails to

educate Leonard the way it educates the other

recruits in Platoon 30-92. Leonard tries

harder than any of us. He can't do anything right.

At night, as the platoon sleeps in

double-tiered metal bunks, Leonard cries. Joker

whispers to him to be quiet. He stops crying.

On the first day of our fifth week, Sergeant

Gerheim beats the hell out of me.
"Private Joker!"

"Yes, sir!"

"I want you and Private Cowboy to clean the


"Yes, sir!"

"I want it so sanitary and spotless and

sparkling that the Virgin Mary herself would he

proud to go in there and take a dump."

"Yes, sir!"

Joker and Cowboy start for the head.

"Private Joker!"

"Yes, sir!"

"Do you believe in the Virgin Mary?"

"NO SIR!" I say.

It's a trick question. Any answer will be

wrong, and Sergeant Gerheim will heat me

harder if I reverse myself.
Sergeant Gerheim punches Joker in the solar

plexus with his elbow. You little maggot," he

says, and his fist punctuates the sentence. "Are

you a Jew?"

"No, sir!"

"An atheist?"

"No, sir!"

"A communist?"

Joker stands to attention, heels locked, eyes

front, swallowing groans, trying not to flinch.

"You make me want to vomit, scumbag. You

goddamn heathen. You better sound off that you

love the Virgin Mary or I'm going to stomp your

guts out."

Sergeant Gerheim's face is about an inch from

Joker's left ear. "EYES FRONT!" Spit sprinkles

his face.

"Are you winking at me?" More spit. Joker


"No, sir."

"Are you eye-fucking me?"

He punches Joker in the stomach.

"Negative, sir."

"You want to fuck your drill instructor? You

want to smoke his pole?" More spit.

"No, sir!" Joker manages not to blink.

"If I catch you winking at ms again, I'm

going to gouge your eyes out and skullfuck you!"

"Yes, sir!"

"Now, sound off, you do love the Virgin Mary,

don't you?"


"What did you say, prive?"


Sergeant Gerheim's beefy red face floats by

like a cobra being charmed by music. His eyes

drill into Joker's, they invite him to look at

him; they dare him to move his eyes one fraction

of an inch.

"Have you seen the light? The white light?

The great light? The guiding light - do you have

the vision?"


"Who's your squad leader, scumbag?"



"Private Snowball, front and center."

Private Snowball, a black recruit, runs down

the center of the squad bay snaps to attention in

front of Sergeant Gerheim. "AYE-AYE, SIR!"

"Private Snowball, you're fired. Private

Joker is promoted to squad leader."

Private Snowball hesitates. "AYE-AYE, SIR!"


Private Snowball does an about-face, runs

back down the squad bay, falls back into line in

front of his rack, snaps to attention.

Sergeant Gerheim turns to Leonard. "Private

Pyle, Private Joker is your new bunkmate. Private

Joker is a very bright boy. He will teach you

everything. He will teach you how to pee."



Sergeant Gerheim looks from Joker to Cowboy.

"You queer for Private Cowboy's gear? You smoke

his pole?"


"Outstanding. Then Private Joker will bunk

with Private Pyle. Private Joker is silly and

he's ignorant, but he's got guts, and guts is


Training continues.

Shots feature Joker and Leonard.
I teach Leonard everything I know, from how

to lace his black combat boots to the

assembly and disassembly of the M-14

semi-automatic shoulder weapon.
I teach Leonard that Marines work hard.

Only shitbirds try to avoid work, only

shitbirds try to skate. Marines are clean,

not skuzzy.
I teach Leonard to value his

rifle as he values his life. I teach him

that blood makes the grass grow.
"This here gun is one mean-looking piece of

iron, sure enough." Leonard's clumsy fingers snap

his weapon together.

"Think of your rifle as a tool, Leonard.

like an axe on the farm."

Leonard grins. "Okay. You're right, Joker."

He looks at Joker. "I'm sure glad you're helping

me, Joker. You're my friend. I know I'm slow. I

always bean slow. Nobody ever helped me..."

Joker turns away, "That sounds like a

personal problem," he says, keeping his eyes on

his weapon.


Mail Call.

"Private Pyle."

Leonard yells his name, runs down the squad

bay and comes to attention in front of Sergeant


"Private Pyle, sir!"

Sergeant Gerheim looks at the envelope.

"Who's Lucie Pratt?"

"Sir, that's the private's sister."

"Does she smoke your pole?"

"No, sir." Leonard grins.


"Is she a good fuck?"

"Sir, I don't know."

"Maggot, do you expect me to believe there's

a shit-kicker in Alabama who doesn't fuck his


"Yes, sir,"

"Maybe she likes coons."

"No, sir."

"You think I'm funny?"

"No, sir!"

"Then wipe that fucking grin off."

"Yes, sir!"


"Aye, aye, sir."

Leonard claps the letter between his palms,

held out horizontally, takes one step backwards,

does an about face, and runs back to his bunk.

Outdoor school circle. The platoon is

grouped in a semi-circle around Sergeant Gerheim.

Sergeant Gerheim holding an M-14 says, "The

deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his

rifle. It is your killer instinct which must be

harnessed if you expect to survive in combat.

Your rifle is only a tool; it is a hard heart that

kills. If your killer instincts are not clean and

strong, you will hesitate at the moment of truth.

You will not kill. You will become dead Marines

and then you will be in a world of shit because

Marines are not allowed to die without permission;

you are government property!"


During our sixth week, Sergeant Gerheim

orders us double-time around the squad bay

with our penises in our left hands and our

weapons in our right hand, singing:
This is my rifle

This is my gun

One is for fighting

And one is for fun.


I don't want no teen-aged queen

All I want is my M-14.
Sergeant Gerheim holds up a rifle. "You will

give your rifle a girl's name. This is the only

pussy you people are going to get. Your days of

finger-hanging ol' Mary Jane Rottencrotch through

her pretty pink panties are over. You're married

to this piece, this weapon of iron and wood, and

you will be faithful."

They run. And they sing:

Well, I don't know

But I been told

Eskimo pussy

Is mighty cold...



Inspection. My mind isn't on my

responsibilities and I forget to remind

Leonard to shave.
Sergeant Gerheim looks disappointed.

"Private Joker!"

"Yes, sir."

"Private Pyre did not stand close enough to

his razor this morning."

"No, sir."

"Private Pyle!"

"Yes, sir."

"Into the head on the double!"

"Yes, sir!"

Leonard double-times into the head.

"Recruit squad leaders, into the head, on the


"Yes, sir!"

Joker and the other recruit squad leaders

double-time into the head.

Sergeant Gerheim strides in after them.

"Recruit squad leaders form a circle around

this toilet."

They apprehensively group themselves around

the toilet.

"Now, on my command, you will open your pants

and urinate into the toilet. Do you understand?"


"Open your pants and urinate in the toilet!

They hesitate.


"NO, SIR!"




They whizz.

Sergeant Gerheim grabs the back of Leonard's

neck and forces Leonard to his knees, pushes his

head down into the yellow pool. Leonard

struggles. Bubbles. Panic gives Leonard

strength; Sergeant Gerheim holds him down.

After it seems that Leonard has drowned,

Sergeant Gerheim flushes the toilet. When the

water stops flowing, Sergeant Gerheim releases his

hold on Leonard's neck.

Leonard straightens up coughing and

sputtering, his face and hair soaked in urine.

Gerheim says: "Private Pyle, I wouldn't put

my hands in piss for just anybody. I hope you

appreciate that."

"Yes, sir."

Practise field bayonet training.

Sergeant Gerheim demonstrates effective

attack techniques to a recruit named Barnard, a

soft-spoken fern boy from Maine. The beefy drill

instructor knocks out two of Private Barnard's

teeth with a rifle butt.

Sergeant Gerheim says, "The purpose of

bayonet training is to awaken your killer

instincts. The killer instinct will make you

strong. If the meek ever inherit the earth the

strong will take it away from them. The weak exist

to be devoured by the strong. Every Marine

must pack his own gear. Every Marine must be the

instrument of his own salvation."

The confidence course was designed to test

the recruits' fear of heights.
The Confidence Course: they go hand over

hand down a rope strung at a forty-five-degree

angle across a pond - the slide-for-life. They

hang upside down like monkeys and crawl headfirst

down the rope.
Leonard falls off the slide-for-life

repeatedly. He almost drowns. He cries. He

climbs the tower. He tries again. He falls

off again. This time he sinks.
Cowboy and Joker dive into the pond. They

pull Leonard out of the muddy water. He's


Joker says, "Should we take him to the sick

bay, sir?"

Gerheim kneels down to see how badly he is

hurt. He says loudly, "It's okay. It's just a




Back at the squad bay Sergeant Gerheim fits a

Trojan rubber with a hole in it over the mouth of

a canteen and throws the canteen at Leonard. The

canteen hits Leonard on the side of the head.

Sergeant Gerheim bellows, "Marines do not cry!

You will fill this canteen with milk, and every

day after chow you will nurse it at the table!"

"Yes, sir!"

Mess Hall. Leonard is nursing on the

canteen. The recruits at his table try not to

notice but crude and derisory remarks come from

drill instructors at nearby tables.

Practise field. Pugil stick fighting. Two

recruits face each other. Each man wears a

football style helmet, face mask and groin

protector. He is armed with a five-foot pole,

padded at each end. The object being to knock

your opponent down. The platoon is formed around

the combatants in a large circle. The DI's yell

at them to be more aggressive. The recruits

play war with the pugil sticks. They beat each

other without mercy.



The recruits enter the barracks from a

training session. Leonard finds his bedding and

the contents of his opened locker box strewn on

the floor.

Gerheim stands at the far end of the

barracks, hands on hips. "Ten...hutt!"

The recruits line up at attention in front of

their bunks.

Gerheim says "Private Pyle!"

"Yes, sir!"

"Get up here, on the double!"

"Yes, sir." Leonard double-times up the

squad bay and comes to attention in front of


"Do you recognize this?" He points to a

jelly-donut, placed on a sheet of newspaper on the


"Yes, sir."

"What is it?"

"A jelly-donut, sir."

"Do you know where I found it?"


"In my footlocker, sir."

"How did it get there?"

"I took it from the mess hall, sir."

"Private Pyle, are you allowed to eat


"No, sir."

"Why not, Private Pyle?"

"Because I am too heavy, sir."


"Because you are a disgusting fatbody,

Private Pyle."

"And is food allowed in the barracks, Private


"No, sir."

"Then why did you hide a jelly-donut in your

footlocker, Private Pyle?"

"Because I was hungry, sir."

"Because you were hungry?"

"Yes, sir."

"Go back to your place, Private Pyle."

"Yes, sir." Leonard double-times back to his


"Private Pyle has dishonoured himself and

dishonoured the platoon. He is a dumbass,

cowardly, fatbody, a ten-percenter who does not

pack the gear to he in my beloved Corps. I have

tried to help him but I have failed. I have

failed because you have not helped me. You have

not given Private Pyle the right motivation. So

from now on whenever Private Pyle fucks up I will

not punish him, I will punish all of you."

Outside the barracks, the platoon does many

squat-thrusts and side-straddle hops many, many

of them.

Leonard has been positioned, facing the

platoon, standing at ease.



Leonard touches Joker's arm as they move

through the chow line with their

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