This video is an absolute classic and will be immediately recognized by any serious metal fan. “One” by Metallica, from the And Justice For All album released in 1988, was perhaps the band’s final swan song before the “Black Album.” This is also one of the most memorable music videos in the entire heavy metal world.
This is the long version of the video, which intersperses the song with clips from the 1971 film “Johnny Got His Gun,” based on the anti-war novel of the same name by Dalton Trumbo who also directed the film. The novel/film is the loose inspiration for the song, and concerns an American soldier in World War I who is left a living stump by extensive war injuries, provoking questions of the quality and meaning of life. Trumbo, of course, was blacklisted from Hollywood in the 1950s, accused of being a Communist by (among others) Ronald Reagan.
The “One” video was shot in a Long Beach warehouse on December 6, 1988, a very cold day. At times you can see the band members’ breaths. It was the first video Metallica ever made. Metal fans remember it well as it was in heavy rotation on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball in the early 1990s. This was one of the videos that made it onto the old VHS tapes my late friend Phil gave to me many years ago.
It’s not a very uplifting song, but it’s a great video and one of Metallica’s all-time best performances! Have a great Friday and Shabbat Shalom.