Poll

What's your favorite film by Samuel Fuller?

I Shot Jesse James
0 (0%)
The Baron of Arizona
0 (0%)
The Steel Helmet
2 (7.1%)
Fixed Bayonets!
0 (0%)
Park Row
0 (0%)
Pickup on South Street
9 (32.1%)
Hell and High Water
0 (0%)
House of Bamboo
0 (0%)
Run of the Arrow
1 (3.6%)
Forty Guns
2 (7.1%)
Verboten!
0 (0%)
The Crimson Kimono
1 (3.6%)
Underworld U.S.A.
0 (0%)
Merrill's Marauders
0 (0%)
Shock Corridor
1 (3.6%)
The Naked Kiss
0 (0%)
The Big Red One
2 (7.1%)
White Dog
1 (3.6%)
Street of No Return
1 (3.6%)
haven't seen any
7 (25%)
don't like any
1 (3.6%)
other
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 27

Author Topic: Fuller, Samuel  (Read 3350 times)

roujin

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Re: Director's Best: Samuel Fuller
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 01:01:06 AM »

Fixed Bayonets! (Samuel Fuller, 1951)

Basically a depiction of several tense situations (braving a mine field, facing off against a tank etc). Would make a good double bill with what appears to be its sister film, The Steel Helmet (though this one lacks that film's racial subject matter). Instead, it's all about men at war; the constant change of who is in command, the guy who needs to get his first kill, the bickering, lingo, rituals and little details that are so lived in and understood that they're casually tossed off and treated with no more importance than anything else. The guy from The Steel Helmet is arguably the star, but more than anything the camaraderie between men is the focus; just some men huddled together, trying to stay warm, nothing gay about that.

pixote

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Re: Director's Best: Samuel Fuller
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2014, 11:56:50 AM »
A review of Shock Corridor, for posterity.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

roujin

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Re: Director's Best: Samuel Fuller
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2014, 12:58:17 PM »
1. The Steel Helmet (1951)
2. Pickup on South Street (1953)
3. Fixed Bayonets! (1951)
4. Park Row (1952)
5. Forty Guns (1957)

smirnoff

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Re: Director's Best: Samuel Fuller
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2014, 06:03:36 PM »

1SO

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Re: Director's Best: Samuel Fuller
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2015, 12:40:31 AM »
I Shot Jesse James (1949)
★ ★

I've seen 4 different versions of the story of the coward Robert Ford. The most well known (with the long title) has Casey Affleck as Ford, though he's upstaged by Sam Rockwell getting to do all the haunted, hollowed out emotions as Robert's brother Charley. In the epic Jesse James/The Return of Frank James, John Carradine etches the most memorable portrayal of Robert Ford. Here Fuller makes Jesse a cameo for his Bob Ford. John Ireland has the most screen time with Bob, but is more of a character actor than a leading man. He lets Fuller and the legend carry him while he constantly looks scared and tense.

I'm not a big fan of Fuller, whose scripts often have the thud of a blunt instrument. I have a couple of Noir favorites, which I plan to re-watch before posting a ranked list, but this is more in line with his typical work. Jesse makes himself such an inviting target it's more comical than tense, and often the dialogue tells you the precise psychological intent of each scene. It's a tabloid journalism version of an elegant fable, but that also makes it unique enough on its own to be worth a look, even if you've seen the other films. There is one terrific scene where a musician enters a bar and sings a popular favorite about "the dirty little coward" unaware that Ford is in the bar.

I mentioned a 4th version. That would be The Long Riders, which features some of the same characters but ends right about where I Shot Jesse James begins.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 12:24:36 PM by 1SO »
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1SO

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Fuller, Samuel
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2015, 01:50:51 AM »
1. Pickup on South Street
2. The Big Red One
3. The Crimson Kimono
4. Park Row

5. The Baron of Arizona
6. The Steel Helmet

7. I Shot Jesse James
8. Underworld U.S.A.
9. Shock Corridor
10. Fixed Bayonets
11. House of Bamboo
12. White Dog
13. The Naked Kiss

14. Forty Guns
15. Run of the Arrow
« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 09:37:27 PM by 1SO »
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verbALs

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Re: Director's Best: Samuel Fuller
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2015, 03:43:11 PM »
The Steel Helmet is this snarling thing. The direction snarls and snaps and roars.

What is remarkable is how this easy handling of racial multiplicity and of hate and prejudice in its rawest form; informs Fuller work of years later. White Dog is dismissed because a lot of people are affronted by precisely similar snarling and snapping when applied to this most uncomfortable subject. Whether Fuller totally misfire isn't as important as the steep approach Fuller employs. By doing something radically different in this area he throws a blistering actinic spotlight on to it. He can't help but to add to the discussion. He challenges. He similarly challenges a 50s view of racism but the force in impact is subtle by comparison. All he does is make his racial characters cool. The best soldier. The most caring medic. He does a similar thing with the damn cool cop in his later cop drama Crimson Kimono. Fuller as newsprint: soldier is a precious thing.
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smirnoff

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Re: Director's Best: Samuel Fuller
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2015, 03:52:09 PM »
11. Run of the Arrow

His one good film imo. :P

(I've seen 2, lol)

verbALs

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Re: Fuller, Samuel
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2015, 02:13:12 PM »
Run of the Arrow is the next of his (last of his) I want to find. Did you review it? Can't remember why you liked it.
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smirnoff

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Re: Fuller, Samuel
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2015, 02:41:03 PM »
Here's the relevant bits.

I was excited to see this precisely because of Sam Fuller's involvement. Not that I've liked any of his films, I just know he's different. And that's what these '57 westerns need, someone who's pushing the envelope in some way. If I watch another vanilla, rosy-cheeked gee-willikers interpretation of the west I'll pull my stovepipe hat down over my face and walk off a cliff.

Quote from: imdb
The first film to use squibs to simulate realistic bullet impacts.

Wow, you don't usually find something this legendary in the trivia section on imdb. I don't know if it's true but anything that improves on guys clutching their chests and falling over is a win in my book. Weirdly they didn't use the squibs in the way you'd think, under someone's clothing or something, instead they put them in the rocks around where a characters were and they'd go off as if someone had shot the rocks and they'd die. I dunno, it was kind of weird. It made it look like characters were dying from the debris of missed shots.

It's a gritty western for more reasons that just flying rocks though. The characters are gritty too. Not in the classic hardened gun-fighter sense but in the hardened by a hard life sense. Characters with weathered faced and such. Charles Bronson plays the Chief and he's the most fair-featured of all the men. What does that tell you! He's also shredded like he's got a Mr. Olympia tournament to go to after shooting. He makes the rest of his tribe look like wimps. Even back then though he was a cool presence.

I especially liked Jay C. Flippen as the Sioux scout Walking Coyote. Just a weird character made weirder by the haphazard native American wardrobe and make-up. For me it worked though because the character had interesting things to say. A lot of the dialogue is that way... it's not a film that rushes through the talking scenes, those are actually the best parts. They're long, they don't have any cuts, and they engage you with the character.

Solid, confident and inventive film. Rather unpolished in a few respects. It brings something different to the table.

It's hard to explain what a departure it is from the tone of most of the westerns from that time. Really refreshing to get something that odd, and that compelling, story-wise. As I recall it's really short too, and I think that helps tremendously. Yeah, 86 minutes... hard to get impatient at that speed.