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Samuel Fuller (1911 - 1997)

By genre: American cinema - Hollwyood - director


Samuel Michael Fuller (August 12, 1911 - October 30, 1997) was an American film director.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, he began, from a very young age, in the field of journalism, becoming a crime reporter at age 17. He wrote pulp novels and screenplays from the mid-30s onwards.

Fuller's journalistic background and his early beginnings as a pulp-fiction writer have informed his film work, particularly Park Row (1952), Shock Corridor (1963) and The Naked Kiss (1965). Fuller's style has been described as "primitive". --excerpts from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Fuller [Aug 2005]

See also: American cinema

Shock Corridor (1963) - Samuel Fuller

Shock Corridor (1963) - Samuel Fuller [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Maverick film director Samuel Fuller was doing some of his best work in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and in the years since its release in 1963, Shock Corridor has become a B-movie classic and a prime example of Fuller's gritty tabloid style. Never hesitant to explore the darkened corners of contemporary life, Fuller depicts the chambers of an insane asylum as a microcosm of American society, telling the story of a cynical, ambitious journalist (Peter Breck) whose obsessive quest for a Pulitzer Prize leads him into the depths of madness. To investigate a murder, the reporter goes undercover in a mental hospital, having convinced a psychiatrist that he needs treatment. Once inside the asylum, he pieces together clues to the murder, but his own mind begins to deteriorate until he's trapped in a downward spiral towards insanity. Fuller heightens the melodrama with his aggressive style of filmmaking (his next film, The Naked Kiss, proved even more effective), and his imaginative use of black-and-white cinematography (by noted cameraman Stanley Cortez) fills the movie with raw, emotional power. It's the kind of film one would expect from a rebellious director on the Hollywood fringe, and that's why Shock Corridor remains an enduring low-budget examination of the "rat race" and the consequences of pursuing success at any cost. The Criterion Collection DVD presents the film in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and a rarely seen color dream sequence has been fully restored. --Jeff Shannon

Naked Kiss (1964) - Samuel Fuller

Constance Towers, head shaven

Naked Kiss (1964) - Samuel Fuller [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Until Sam Fuller came along, movies in the 1960s were still bound by Hollywood's self-imposed and often hypocritical rules of discretion. The crimes and misdemeanors of lurid pulp fiction remained on drugstore spin-racks and newsstands, diluted on screen until Fuller, with his cigar-chomping audacity and confrontational style, liberated movies from artificial restraint and kicked them into the meaner, darker, but more honest maturity of the post-Kennedy era. Shock Corridor announced Fuller's brazen agenda a year earlier, but is even more astonishing because its trashy, provocative plot dares to find depth and humanity beneath the hardened shells of corrupted souls.

The film begins like no other before it: Kelly (Constance Towers) beats her pimp with a handbag, grabs the cash he owes her, adjusts her telltale wig and makeup, and sets out to begin life anew, free from the shame of prostitution. Two years later she's in Grantville, a typically Rockwellian slice of Americana, working wonders with disabled kids and gaining distance from her miserable past. She's even engaged to the town's most respected citizen, but dark clouds are gathering: a corrupt cop knows Kelly's hidden secrets; a nearby brothel taints the community; and a pedophile is lurking in the shadows. Through it all, Fuller calibrates The Naked Kiss with such precision that sentiment and sordidness can run parallel without colliding, shifting from outrageous vice to shameless tear-jerking with equal facility. With twisted tricks up his sleeve, Fuller can be accused of tabloid tackiness, but that would be missing the point: In Fuller's cruel and ugly world, compassion still finds a way to survive. --Jeff Shannon for Amazon.com

Filthy, dirty, squalid, morally degraded

“The sordid details of his orgies stank under his very nostrils” (James Joyce).


  • Beethoven's Moonlight sonata
  • Baudelaire quote
  • Goethe reference
  • Reference to male version of Brigitte Bardot

    White Dog (1982) - Samuel Fuller

    White Dog (1982) - Samuel Fuller

    White Dog is a 1982 movie directed by Samuel Fuller. It stars Paul Winfield, Kristy McNichol, Jameson Parker, and Burl Ives. Due to controversy surrounding the movie it was shelved for several years before finally receiving a limited release.

    The plot of the film revolved around a man's attempt to retrain a group of dogs who had been trained to attack African-Americans on sight. Many people feared that the movie would be a celebration of the attacks, and it was very controversial. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Dog [Feb 2006]

    Original music by Ennio Morricone

    See also: Samuel Fuller - racism - African Americans - white - dog

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