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Hi.... Joker!
~ Private Gomer Pyle
I am in a world of Shit!
~ Private Gomer Pyle
762 millimeter Full Metal Jacket.
~ Private Gomer Pyle

Private Leonard "Gomer Pyle" Lawrence is the deuteragonist-turned-main antagonist of the first half, and one of the two main antagonists overall of the 1987 war film Full Metal Jacket.

He was portrayed by the legendary actor Vincent D'Onofrio, who also played Kingpin, Commander Vic Hoskins, David Hagan, Edgar the Bug, Lester Clark, and Carl Rudolph Stargher.


He is a large, obese, and slightly dim-witted man who earns the name "Gomer Pyle" after incurring Gunnery Sergeant Hartman's wrath. Unresponsive to Hartman's harsh discipline, Pyle is eventually assigned to Joker's squad. Pyle improves with Joker's help, but his progress halts when Hartman discovers a contraband jelly doughnut in Pyle's foot locker. Believing the recruits have failed to improve Pyle, Hartman adopts a collective punishment policy: every mistake Pyle makes will earn punishment for the rest of the platoon, with Pyle being spared. In retaliation for their misery caused by Pyle's failures, the platoon (including Joker) hazes and brutalizes him with a blanket party (or soap party in military slang), restraining him in his bunk while beating him with bars of soap wrapped in towels and used like blackjacks. Although hesitant at first, Joker ultimately struck Pyle harder than the rest of the platoon. After this incident, Pyle reinvents himself as a model Marine. This impresses Hartman but worries Joker, who recognizes signs of mental breakdown in Pyle, such as him talking to his M14 rifle.

After they graduate, Pyle suffers a severe mental breakdown in the bathroom at the camp, loading his rifle with live ammunition. Joker attempts to calm Pyle, who executes drill commands and loudly recites the Rifleman's Creed. This wakes up the platoon, including Hartman who comes into the bathroom, and notices Pyle with his rifle. He tries to get him to surrender by yelling more insults at him, only for Pyle to shoot him dead, he then proceeds to aim his rifle at Joker and considers killing him as well, however Joker calms him down by calling him Leonard and saying "take it easy man" - seeming to trigger memories in Pyle of how Joker had been his sole friend and mentor, broken by his experiences he lowered his rifle and sat down, sparing Joker's life but then promptly taking his own via a shot to the head as he adjusted the rifle and put it in his mouth before pulling the trigger.


  • Initially Pyle was going to be a "skinny ignorant redneck." Director Stanley Kubrick decided it would be more impactful if Pyle was an obese, clumsy man. D'Onofrio was required to put on 70 lb (32 kg) of weight for the role of Pyle bringing his total weight to 280 pounds. The weight exacerbated a knee injury he suffered while filming.
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