Johnny Got His Gun

Adaptations

On March 9, 1940, a radio adaptation of Johnny Got His Gun was produced and directed by Arch Oboler, based on his script, and presented on the NBC Radio series, Arch Oboler's Plays. James Cagney voiced Joe Bonham on that broadcast. (You can hear the broadcast here (OTRR Library))

In 1971, Trumbo directed a film adaptation of the novel, starring Timothy Bottoms as Joe Bonham. In 1982, Johnny Got His Gun was adapted into a stage play by Bradley Rand Smith, which has since been performed worldwide. Its first off-Broadway run starred Jeff Daniels, who won an Obie Award for his performance.[8]

The song "One", by American heavy metal band Metallica, is heavily based on the events of the book and condition of Joe. The music video for the song features several clips from the film adaptation.[9]

In 2008, Benjamin McKenzie earned critical acclaim for his solo performance (as Joe Bonham) in the "live on stage, on film" version of the 1982 Off-Broadway play based on the novel, McKenzie's fourth starring role in a feature film.[10]

In early 2009, the 1971 film made its U.S. DVD debut, produced by Shout! Factory. The DVD included the original, uncut film, plus a 2005 documentary (Dalton Trumbo: Rebel In Hollywood), new cast interviews, Metallica's music video "One", behind-the-scenes footage with commentary by stars Timothy Bottoms and Jules Brenner, the 1940 radio adaptation, and the original theatrical trailer.[11]

In October 2010, a special educational DVD[8] of the 2008 film version starring McKenzie became available free of charge to every high school library in the U.S.

The UK stage premiere of the Bradley Rand Smith version—directed by David Mercatali and starring Jack Holden—ran at the Southwark Playhouse from May 21, 2014 to June 14, 2014.[8]


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