Originally released to cable and airlines as The Ace, a favorable review by the New York Times convinced Warner Brothers to give the film a theatrical run in 1979 with a new title, The Great Santini.
Based on the novel by Pat Conroy, Robert Duvall’s character Lieutenant Colonel “Bull” Meecham is based on Conroy’s own father, a Marine fighter pilot who referred to himself in the third person as “The Great Santini” and ran his family as if it were a Marine Corps squadron.
The film was a critical success and earned Academy Award nominations for Robert Duvall and Michael O’Keefe. (It was Duvall’s third acting nomination, but the award that year went to Robert DeNiro for Raging Bull. Duvall would win three years later for Tender Mercies.)
Hope you enjoyed your Father’s Day! Now drop and give me fifty.
What did you do this weekend?