The Great Santini is a novel written by Pat Conroy and published in 1976. The Great Santini tells the story of harsh Marine fighter pilot Lut. Colonel Wilbur "Bull" Meecham, who calls himself "The Great Santini," and the family he runs with a strict hand. It follows the Meecham family as they move to and struggle to fit into the Marine town of Ravenel, South Carolina. The novel shows us how the main character, Ben Meecham's growth into manhood, his experiences playing basketball for his high school, as well as his friendship with a black boy. The novel exposes the love/hate relationship between Ben and his father, which requires lots of effort to get his attention and affection The novel is based on Conroy's own childhood experiences growing up in a military family. Conroy's own father, Donald Conroy, was the inspiration for "Bull" Meecham. Many of the events in the book seem to echo Conroy's real-life experiences.
The Great Santini is also a 1979 film which tells the story of a highly successful Marine officer whose success as a military aviator contrasts with his struggles to as a husband and father. It also shows and symbolizes the high price of heroism and self sacrifice on the man's soul. It stars Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, Michael O'Keefe, Lisa Jane Persky, Julie Anne Haddock, Brian Andrews, Stan Shaw and David Keith. Much of the film was shot on location in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Although the differences in the book, the movie did a really good job portraying the 400 page book, especially on the characters. Robert Duvall did an excellent job playing the role as Bull Meecham- or the ‘Great Santini’. He has a very tough love relationship with his family. Then there was Blythe Danner who plays Lillian; she also did an fantastic job with her character. Even though in the book she had red hair, and in the movie she was a blonde, they displayed her as the same woman who has a big heart, and has to help her family get through hard times with him....
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