Monday, September 16, 2013

Gus on the set of FULL METAL JACKET, October 1985



I went out to the set where Stanley was supposed to be filming in a little place called Beckton, near Essex. It's on the Thames, an abandoned gasworks.  I wanted to see in fact whether the picture was being made.  I was contemplating legal action at the time, and it would've been pointless if there were no movie.

I took a couple of friends along with me. We dressed up in tiger-stripe clothes. Our idea was that they'd be shooting and we'd simply blend in as though we were extras. We went in, and this little go-fer took us over to the commissary tent while somebody checked out who I was.

We were having doughnuts and the go-fer asked: "Who are you? Why'd you come here?"

I said: "Well, I'm the guy who wrote the book that this film is based upon."

His eyes lit up and he said: "You're kidding! You're the guy? That's you?"

I said: "Yeah, yeah, I wrote the book."

He said: "Well, I want to shake your hand, because Dispatches is the best book I ever read."

"Hey, I think so too," I said.

--from The Several Battles of Gustav Hasford, LA Times Magazine, 1987

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