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USA: Universal Studios
UK: UIP (UK)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Lucas Black, Brian Geraghty, Jacob Vargas, Laz Alonso, Evan Jones, Chris Cooper, Dennis Haysbert, Jamie Foxx, Sam Rockwell, Skyler Stone, Wade Williams, Katherine Randolph, Mike Akrawi, Matthew Atherton, Hari Bali, Rini Bell, Becky Boxer, Michael Broderick, Byron Browne, Brian Casey, Ammar Daraiseh, Nick Dash, Brianne Davis, Mark Davis, James D Dever, Matt Duggan, Ivan Fenyö, V J Foster, Peter Gail, Riad Galayini, Brian Geraghty, Kareem J Grimes, Aaron Haedt, John Heiligenthal, Tuukka Jantti, Chris Kephart, John Krasinski, Kurt Larson, Shaun Lund, Scott MacDonald, Jamie Martz, Michael Mercurio, Amr Metwally, Kim Mickens, Kelron Mixon, James Morrison, Tyler J Olson, Marty Papazian, Katharine Phillips Moser, Eriq F Prince, Christian Reeve, Darryl Reeves, Kristin Richardson, Kristoffer Scanlon, Tyler Sedustine, Michael Servantes Jr, Jocko Sims, Jon Erik, Toufig Tulsiram, Kevin J Tunell, Tom Vick, Jason Woodruff, Arman Zajic
Director: Sam Mendes
USA & UK: 123 mins
USA Rated: R for pervasive language, some violent images and strong sexual content
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language, sex references and strong war imagery
USA Release Date: 4 November 2005
UK Release Date: 13 January 2006
"Like most good and great Marines, I hated the Corps. I hated being a Marine because more than all of the things in the world I wanted to be—smart, famous, sexy, oversexed, drunk, f***ed, high, alone, famous, smart, known, understood, loved, forgiven, oversexed, drunk, high, smart, sexy—more than all of these, I was a Marine. A jarhead." — Anthony Swofford, Jarhead
In the summer of 1990, Anthony Swofford, a 20-year-old third-generation enlistee, got sent to the deserts of Saudi Arabia to fight in the first Gulf War.
In 2003, his memories of that time in that place became the best-selling book Jarhead. Swofford wrote with the urgency, immediacy, honesty and humor that could only come from someone who had lived through the experience itself.
Swofford's book spent nine weeks on The New York Times list of best sellers and was hailed in that same publication as "some kind of classic...a bracing memoir of the 1991 Persian Gulf War that will go down with the best books ever written about military life. A wild passage familiar to millions of young men but rarely so well revealed."
Here was the unvarnished story straight from the mouth of the then 20-year-old kid, who told of a very different war from the one delivered in print or over the air. Here was the war from the ground up with images of burning oil wells shooting flames into the night sky, like comets that had fallen to the earth; rowdy, horny, dusty recruits, exhilarated and also terrified that at any moment, over the next hill, the war might begin; young men, suddenly dropped down in an unforgiving terrain, seeking diversion in a game of gas mask football, awaiting care packages of letters and porn, betting on staged scorpion fights and getting blind drunk to celebrate a Christmas away from their families. But out of this hellish situation ultimately arose unlikely friendships, fierce loyalty and do-or-die camaraderie—a brotherhood of jarheads sworn to be always faithful...semper fi.
Jake Gyllenhaal (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW) heads a brilliant ensemble cast and tackles the central role of Tony "Swoff" Swofford, who transforms from third-generation enlistee with half-formed visions of valor into a veteran, the only one who knows the true cost of war. Peter Sarsgaard (KINSEY, SHATTERED GLASS) portrays Troy, Swoff's partner in their elite unit of Marine scout/snipers, whose unflappable exterior conceals a stormy and mercurial nature. Oscar® winner Jamie Foxx (RAY, COLLATERAL) plays Staff Sergeant Sykes, a lifer who commands the Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoon with bulldog tenacity and an unwavering sense of nationalism. And Oscar® winner Chris Cooper (SEABISCUIT, ADAPTATION) portrays Lieutenant Colonel Kazinski, the commander who itches to unleash his killing machine on an overmatched enemy.
Red Wagon producers, Academy Award® winner Douglas Wick (GLADIATOR) and Lucy Fisher (MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA), immediately snapped up the rights to the book and commissioned screenwriter and ex-Marine William Broyles, Jr (Academy Award® nominee for APOLLO 13) to adapt Swofford's memoir. Wick and Fisher also sought out the only director they felt could bring Jarhead to the motion picture screen—Academy Award®-winning director Sam Mendes, who had previously probed beneath the surface calm of suburbia in AMERICAN BEAUTY and examined the intersection of family ties and criminal violence in ROAD TO PERDITION.
Mendes and the filmmaking team now collaborate on the next generation of war movies with JARHEAD, an unforgettable view of war as seen through the eyes of one Marine—as if J D Salinger's Holden Caulfield had been deployed to the Gulf.