How much do you remember about the intense war movie Full Metal Jacket?

By: John Miller
Image: Natant Harrier Films

About This Quiz

If you are a movie buff, especially a war movie buff, you will probably remember the iconic war film, Full Metal Jacket. If this is one of your favorite movies, then this quiz is for you. Let's find out how much you remember about the movie.

Full Metal Jacket, released in the summer of 1987, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, starred Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Adam Baldwin. The film was released to critical acclaim and continues to garner mostly rave reviews from viewers even though the film's $30 million budget only parlayed into just over $45 million at the box office (in North America along with an Academy Award nomination).

Full Metal Jacket is based on the book, The Short Timers, a semi-autobiographical novel by Gustav Hasford, and was based on his time as a Marine Corps combat correspondent during the Vietnam War. Like many novels that have been adapted for the big screen, readers will recognize that some parts of the novel have been changed and/or omitted for film. But, whether you read the book, then saw the movie, or saw the movie, then read the book, most people agree that both the book and the movie are worth exploring.

Let's find out how much you remember about the movie, Full Metal Jacket.

"Full Metal Jacket" is a movie about which historical conflict?

"Full Metal Jacket" is a gut-wrenching film that takes place during the Vietnam War. It was produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, of "A Clockwork Orange" fame.

The movie follows a group of new recruits in which branch of the military?

The film begins as we follow the hardcore training regimen of a group of new U.S. Marines. Per standard protocol, they have their heads shaved, and then the yelling begins.

Who is the star of "Full Metal Jacket"?

In this 1987 film, it is Matthew Modine who plays the private at the center of the action. His name is James Davis.

James Davis is a raw recruit. How does he respond to the harsh treatment by Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, played by R. Lee Ermey?

James scoffs behind Hartman's back ... but Hartman knows. He takes to calling James the "Joker."

Gunnery Sgt. Hartman particularly dislikes a Pvt. Leonard Lawrence. Why?

Hartman has a particular disdain for Lawrence, whom he dubs "Gomer Pyle," because's overweight and a bit mentally slow. He practically brutalizes poor Leonard.

One morning during training Hartman becomes angry with James after quizzing him about which topic?

The very religious Hartman repeatedly asks James if he believes in the Virgin Mary. James is an atheist and refuses to kowtow to his commanding officer's beliefs.

How does Hartman respond to James' refusal to believe in the Virgin Mary?

Hartman is impressed with James' convictions and willingness to stand up for his beliefs. He makes James a squad leader.

What's James' first real task as squad leader?

James gets the honor of squad leader. Hartman immediately instructs him to whip the overweight Pyle into shape. It's a nearly impossible task, and Hartman knows it.

During barracks inspections, what does Hartman find in the overweight Pyle's foot locker?

Hartman finds a jelly doughnut in Pyle's foot locker. Infuriated, he decides to make everyone pay the price for this violation of the rules.

Hartman finds a doughnut in Pyle's foot locker and decides to punish the rest of the men for this infraction. How does the rest of the platoon respond?

The other men are incensed that they are paying the price for Pyle's stupidity. They attack him and beat him. Even Joker (reluctantly) joins in the horrific attack.

How does Pyle respond to the beating from his fellow troops?

Pyle responds by becoming one of the best Marines in the squad. But there's a serious downside. He is mentally broken, and he's slowly losing his mind.

How does Joker know that Pyle is slowly losing his grasp on reality?

Pyle begins talking to his rifle. Joker is no psychologist, but he can see that Pyle is going insane and that no one is going to step in and help the poor soldier.

Once training is complete, the men receive their specialty assignments. What's Joker's assignment?

Joker gets off relatively easy -- he's given a journalism speciality. The other men? They get stuck in the infantry, meaning there's a good chance they'll see combat overseas.

After training is complete, Pyle has a mental meltdown. In the middle of the night, he loads a rifle and does what?

Hartman confronts Pyle about having a loaded rifle in the middle of the night. Pyle recites military codes and then shoots and kills Hartman. Then, Pyle kills himself.

After Hartman's killing, the movie's storyline flashes forward. Where is Joker?

The movie jumps forward to January 1968. Joker is now in Vietnam, and the North Vietnamese are making a push towards the Americans and their allies.

Joker and Rafterman (a combat photographer) are sent to cover fighting in the area. What happens during their helicopter ride?

Insanity is just part of Vietnam. The chopper's door gunner goes nuts, shooting innocent civilians on the ground. Joker doesn't even know how to absorb the awful incident.

When Rasterman and Joker arrive at their new camp, they are ordered to investigate what?

The higher ups always want more fuel for propaganda. They order Rasterman and Joker to investigates an alleged North Vietnamese massacre. They wind up witnessing a mass grave filled with bodies.

One soldier makes fun of Joker for wearing a peace symbol while also having the phrase _______ on his helmet.

Joker has the phrase "Born to Kill" on his helmet. When a soldier asks him how he can wear a peace symbol while also advertising that violent phrase, he mutters something about the duality of humankind.

Joker is reunited with Cowboy's unit, the "Lusthog Squad." What are the squad's orders?

Cowboy's unit is bound for battle. And this time, Joker is going with them.

The Lusthog's squad leader (Lt. Touchdown) is killed in a firefight. What's the name of the man who is now in charge?

With Lt. Touchdown dead, it's up to Crazy Earl to step up and lead the men of Lusthog. But his time as commanding officer doesn't last long.

While walking through the ruins, Crazy Earl is drawn to which object?

Crazy Earl picks up an abandoned toy bunny. Unfortunately, the bunny is a booby trap, and once Earl grabs it, it explodes and kills him.

With Crazy Earl now dead, Cowboy's in charge. How does he feel about that?

Cowboy wants nothing to do with leading men into battle. But thanks to attrition and death, he's now the man in charge, whether he likes it or not.

The squad is redeployed into another battle zone, where they encounter what?

The men are blasted by an unseen sniper. Cowboy tells the men to withdraw, but one machine gunner, angered by all of the death, charges forward instead.

As the angry American machine gunner runs toward the sniper, his comrades follow. Then what happens?

The situation is perilous and the sniper is safe in a hideout, and as the Americans bicker, he shoots Cowboy. The Texan dies in Joker's arms.

After Cowboy dies, the Americans again scramble to find the sniper. Joker finds the sniper. Who is it?

After all of the chaos, the deadly sniper turns out to be a young girl. She's been mortally wounded by American troops.

The young girl sniper is mortally wounded but clearly wants one last thing of the Americans. What is it?

The girl wants the troops to kill her. She knows she's dying and wants to be put out of her misery.

It's left to Joker to finish off the sniper. What does he do?

The young woman is suffering and Joker knows her time has come. He draws his side arm and kills her.

What do the other soldiers say after Joker shoots the girl?

The other soldiers sarcastically congratulate Joker on his first war kill. Joker seems traumatized by this ugly turn of events.

The movie took nearly a whole year to film because of a problem with R. Lee Ermey. What happened to him?

Emery was in a severe car wreck and suffered numerous broken bones. Filming was delayed for months while he healed.

How is Joker feeling about life at the end of the movie?

Joker recognizes the awfulness that he's experienced. But even still, he's just happy to somehow still be alive.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes