Author Topic: Samuel Fuller  (Read 8892 times)

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eward

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Samuel Fuller
« on: December 01, 2004, 06:37:22 PM »
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somebody, please God, tell me that I simply missed the xixax sam fuller thread in my search for it.  it cannot be possible that there simply is not a thread about this man.  i fully agree with sir scorsese in saying that if you don't like the films of sam fuller, then you just don't like cinema.  there's such a raw energy and exuberance behind his work, such a firm hand grasped tightly around your balls that doesn't let go until well after the film has ended.  much of his work is oh so hard to find.  criterion released three of his best: Pickup On South Street, The Naked Kiss and Shock Corridor (though Naked Kiss and Shock Corridor would benefit from a re-releasing), and there's some dvds available of a few other films of his like: Street of No Return, Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street, Shark (but we don't need to talk about that), The Big Red One (the criminally truncated version - and this was the film he wanted to make all of his life too!)...I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommed you read his autobiography A THIRD FACE that came out shortly after his death in 1997.  This man IS cinema.  his life story is incredible too.  the sights this man saw, the sounds he heard, the people he met for chrissakes!  you get them all in that book, told with the wonderful, outspoken, tough-guy, cigar chomping voice of the GREAT Samuel Fuller.

His Films:

I Shot Jesse James (1949)
The Baron of Arizona (1950)
The Steel Helmet (1951)
Fixed Bayonets (1951)
Park Row (1952)
Pickup On South Street (1953)
Hell and High Water (1954)
House of Bamboo (1955)
Run of the Arrow (1957)
Forty Guns (1957)
China Gate (1957)
Verboten! (1958)
The Crimson Kimono (1959)
Underworld, U.S.A (1961)
Merrill's Marauders (1962)
Shock Corridor (1963)
The Naked Kiss (1964)
Shark! (1970) <------ his original title was Caine...but the financer's changed that and pretty much the entire movie without him knowing...
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street (1972)
The Big Red One (1980)
White Dog (1982)
Thieves After Dark (1983)
Street of No Return (1989)

Of these, I've seen Park Row, Pickup, Hell and High Water, Underworld USA, Shock Corridor, Naked Kiss, Shark!, Dead Pigeon, Big Red One, Street of No Return

I recommend you see ALL OF THEM except Hell and High Water (it's not that bad, but it's not true Sam Fuller, even he doesn't like it for that reason, it wasn't his story) and Shark! which was fucked around with so much that the movie is often embarassing to watch.

Sam Fuller was one of the great american storytellers of the twentieth century.  he ate, slept, and breathed it.  it was his life.  this man is a personal hero of mine and I can't wait to hear your enthusiasms for he and his work in this thread (unless i get redirected!).  i do know that there are some fans on this board.  gush away!

EDIT - I just wanna add, several months later, that STREET OF NO RETURN is actually a pretty awful movie (i didn't mention that when i began the thread). i recommend you see it because of that.  he manages a few great things in there, but it is almost embarassing to watch most of the time.  i own it.  i think it's important to own because even though made many many great films, he was also capable of something like this.  he speaks very highly of it in his autobiography, too.  it's really odd.  i watch it every now and again and it absolutely fascinates me.  the making of doc is great tho, it's about an hour of sam fuller chomping on a footlong cigar, talking about racial issues, people talking about how great he is, some behind the scenes footage, etc.  so yeah, i guess my point is that a sam fuller dud is still worth seeing.  his other films are solid though.

Stefen

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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2004, 07:28:37 PM »
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I like how the first words in every new thread are always like "Couldnt find a thread about this" Xixax gestapo is in full effect.
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eward

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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2004, 07:52:18 PM »
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you bastard, the sight of a "reply" got me all excited

Ghostboy

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Samuel Fuller
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2004, 09:42:54 PM »
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The only one I've seen is Shock Corridor, which I saw without any real preconceptions (other than the footage shown in The Dreamers), and it shocked me with how bizarre it was. On the one hand, the mystery and the reporter's plan for solving it is clunky and kinda silly. But that's just an excuse for a really amazing descent into madness...it's really effective as far as that goes, and the occasionaly appearance of color footage was a stroke of genius. It's a pretty vivid and unforgettable film.

I hope to catch The Big Red One's re-release soon, if it ever makes it my way...

modage

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Samuel Fuller
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2004, 10:25:21 PM »
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the only one I've seen is The Naked Kiss, which I saw without any real preconceptions (other than the footage shown in Scorsese's Journey Through American Movies which made me want to see it)  the opening scene of the film, with its handheld camerawork and when he pulls the girls wig off (!) wow. i knew right off the bat, i was truly in for something different.  i could sense that tarantino must love this guy.  some of it seemed a little dated but i overall really enjoyed the film.  

i hope to catch Shock Corridor and Pickup on South Street sometime in '05 when i have time.
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SiliasRuby

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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2004, 12:11:31 AM »
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The only one I've seen is Pickup on South Street which is beyond awseome as far as classic film noir goes. I have it The Criterion version of it and it's fantastic. Looking forward to seeing some of his others next year.
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Gold Trumpet

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Samuel Fuller
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2004, 01:45:24 AM »
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I've seen as many Fuller films as I feel I can so basically, I've seen and own all the Criterions. The Big Red One is getting released finally in a better version though its a shame the final cut is likely lost or worst, being ignored for no reason. House of Bamboo will be released next year in the much hyped Fox Noir Line. Of the three, Shock Corridor is by far my favorite. Pure pulp, but so much angst, rebellion and heart ache that by the end of reading Fuller's auto biography, I couldn't help but think that film best captured the frenzy of his own mind. You just end up loving Sam Fuller as a person. Comparing Shock Corridor and Naked Kiss to Pickup on South Street is really comparing two different type of approaches. Pickup is classic noir, Shock and Naked pure pulp. There are some harder to find dvds out there and I'm trying to get them. Actually I'm just trying make some hedway on a collection outside the usual considering it feels like Criterion was just my introduction to all these type of films.

modage

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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2004, 09:45:37 AM »
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Entertainment Weekly reviewed the big red one (better version) in the new issue...

The Big Red One
Reviewed by Owen Gleiberman

Some films are better in theory than reality — like, say, Sam Fuller’s The Big Red One. In 1980, Fuller, the cigar-chomping director of such rousingly pulpy and far-fetched B movies as Shock Corridor and House of Bamboo, made a World War II epic drawn from his own combat experiences. It was acclaimed for its anecdotal “realism,” but it was also drastically reedited by its studio, Lorimar. Now, the full 158-minute version of The Big Red One has been reassembled, restoring a gritty gem of offbeat Hollywood classicism to its full glory.

At least so goes the theory. If you choose to see The Big Red One, there are certain things you should prepare for. The American platoon is filled with incongruously nonchalant young actors like Mark Hamill, who gawks, and Robert Carradine, who smirks, all the while delivering cornball-tough dialogue that makes them sound less like hardened grunts than the Jets and the Sharks. The battle scenes, with their greasepaint grime and badly lit prop rubble, practically seem to be taking place on stage; they have no terror, no existential grip. As the film sprawls from Africa to Sicily to Omaha Beach and beyond, it’s formless in the worst way: a rough cut in search of a design. Did I mention the effeminate Nazi who coos, “I adore supermen”?

Lee Marvin, it must be said, is terrific as the platoon commander (his burnt-tobacco growl is the essence of pitiless male nobility), and Fuller deserves props for the film’s one sustained sequence: the D-Day attack, in which the platoon gets pinned on the beach for a hellish eternity. If you don’t elect to watch The Big Red One through the lens of Sam Fuller’s mystique, however, you’ll realize that it has been celebrated in ways that essentially make virtues of its flaws.


Grade: C
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

eward

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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2004, 02:26:08 PM »
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Quote from: themodernage02
Now, the full 158-minute version of The Big Red One has been reassembled, restoring a gritty gem of offbeat Hollywood classicism to its full glory.


he doesn't even know what he's talking about.

and it's useless to complain about the battle scenes in this film.  fuller was given a budget practically equal to what i spend on gas each week, it's not those scenes that make this film great.  it's scenes like

SPOILERS

the birth inside the tank
the little boy who wants his mother buried
mark hamill finding the nazi officer hiding amongst human bones in the oven at the concentration camp
lee marvin assuring the soldier who stepped on the mine that he can still start a family with only one testicle

disregard that review.

rustinglass

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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2004, 03:40:01 PM »
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I've only seen white dog, but i really really want to see naked kiss.
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eward

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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2004, 07:27:21 PM »
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how did you see white dog?

eward

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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2004, 07:54:24 PM »
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case anyone's interested, here's a good little interview with him, compiled from several interviews conducted in the mid-seventies:

http://www.imagesjournal.com/issue10/features/fuller/

rustinglass

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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2004, 12:30:14 PM »
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Quote from: eward
how did you see white dog?

on the TV, why?
"In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don't have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie."
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eward

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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2004, 03:01:45 PM »
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lucky bastard.  i asked because it's extraordinarily hard to find, being that jeffrey katzenberg refused to release it because some people were uncomfortable with what it was about (i don't even think they had seen the picture)...was it good?

rustinglass

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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2004, 05:21:52 PM »
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Man, I had no idea, I hope i didn't tape over it, since it's rare and all. I don't understand why the fim wasn't released... because it deals with racism in america? ...Anyway, I liked it, it's not great but it's a well made low budget film with a nice score by morricone and some memorable shots (the last shot of the film is just fantastic).
"In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don't have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie."
-Emir Kusturica

 

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