In this silent comedy, college boy William Canfield Jr. (Buster Keaton) reunites with his boat captain father in a Mississippi River town. Though he's flummoxed by Willie's citified appearance, the elder Canfield seems to have found an ally to help him compete with fellow riverboat owner John James King (Tom McGuire). Willie finds himself falling for King's daughter, Mary (Marion Byron), but he has more pressing concerns when the weather turns bad and his father in arrested.
Will Lockhart (James Stewart) comes to the ranch town of Coronado looking for the man who is selling rifles to the Apaches, because his brother was killed with one. There he runs into Alec Waggoman (Donald Crisp), an aging rancher with a violent son named Dave (Alex Nicol). A conflict between Dave and Vic (Arthur Kennedy), Waggoman's top aid, helps Lockhart uncover the source of the rifles -- and also gets him involved in the power struggles at the Waggoman ranch.
In Northern England, frustrated college dropout Jimmy Porter (Richard Burton) plays music at a jazz club at night and by day works at a candy stall with partner Cliff Lewis (Gary Raymond), who lives with Jimmy and his wife, Alison (Mary Ure). Embittered by the strictures of working-class life, Jimmy constantly insults Alison, whose family is upper class. When Alison invites her best friend, self-assured Helena (Claire Bloom), to stay with them, Jimmy's grievances threaten to boil over.
Based on the novel The Short-Timers by Gustav Hasford, Full Metal Jacket is a gripping, brutal and a highly acclaimed account of U.S. marines through their gruelling training and then serving in gruesome street battles within the Vietnamese city of Hue.