Samuel Fuller Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (2)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (6)  | Trivia (21)  | Personal Quotes (10)  | Salary (2)

Overview (5)

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Died in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameSamuel Michael Fuller
Nickname Sammy
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (2)

At age 17, Samuel Fuller was the youngest reporter ever to be in charge of the events section of the New York Journal. After having participated in the European battle theater in World War II, he directed some minor action productions for which he mostly wrote the scripts himself and which he also produced (e.g. The Baron of Arizona (1950)). His masterpiece was Pickup on South Street (1953) for 20th Century Fox, but at the end of the 1950s, he regained his independence from the production company and filmed many other movies of note, including the controversial White Dog (1982).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Volker Boehm

Sam Fuller had six siblings: three brothers (Ving, Ray and Tom) and three sisters (Evelyn, Tina and Rose). His most famous sibling was his older brother, the nationally syndicated comic strip artist and cartoonist, Ving Fuller. In the 1920s Ving was a staff cartoonist at the New York Evening Graphic, where Sam was a crime reporter (and sometimes cartoonist). Ving went on to create numerous comic strips and gag cartoons, the most well-known of which is "Doc Syke" (later called "Little Doc"), which was syndicated in newspapers from 1945-50. The two brothers had a close, loving relationship, as depicted by Sam Fuller in "A Third Face," his 2002 autobiography written with Christa Lang and Jerome Henry Rudes. Sam admired his brother's talent, writing, "Unlike me, he was a talented, committed cartoonist." Ving Fuller contributed the front page editorial cartoons seen in Sam Fuller's 1952 tribute to the American newspaper, Park Row (1952).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A. Nonymous

Spouse (2)

Christa Lang (25 July 1967 - 30 October 1997) ( his death) ( 1 child)
Martha Downes Fuller (? - 1959) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (6)

Rarely employed major stars and often preferred casting obscure or inexperienced actors
His films often focus on the psychological effects of violence on both victims and perpetrators
Known for smoking large cigars
His films often revolve around the seedy parts of society
War films which took heavily from his own experiences
Brutal and unflinching portrayal of violence

Trivia (21)

He was the guest of honor at the first annual film festival in Sodankylä, Finland, in 1986 (accompanied by such younger directors as Jonathan Demme and Bertrand Tavernier). Part of a street in Sodankylä was later renamed Samuel Fullerin Katu (Samuel Fuller Street).
As a young crime reporter with the New York Evening Graphic, the veteran crime reporter who "showed him the ropes" when he first started out was Rhea Gore, the wife of actor Walter Huston and the mother of John Huston. Fuller's first big "scoop" was when he became the first journalist to report the death of Jeanne Eagels.
Father, with Christa Lang, of Samantha Fuller.
Biography in John Wakeman, editor, "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985," pp. 375-382. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
Served as a rifleman in the U.S. 1st Infantry Division during World War II. Fuller saw action in North Africa, Sicily, Omaha Beach on D-Day, and then on through Europe to Czechoslovakia. He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. He later used many of his war experiences in The Big Red One (1980).
Interviewed in "The Director's Event: Interviews with Five American Filmmakers" by Eric Sherman and Martin Rubin.
Close friend of Richard Brooks since the days when they were both reporters in New York.
Was the American-born son of Russian-Jewish immigrants named Rabonovitch who changed their surname to Fuller apparently in tribute to a doctor named Sam Fuller who came to the U.S. on the Mayflower.
Owner of Globe Enterprises, a film production company.
Younger brother of Ving Fuller.
As a reporter in New York in the 1930s, he reported on many suicide cases and always asked if he could keep the note if the deceased had left one. He was famous for his extensive collection of suicide notes.
He often uses a character named Lemchek in his war movies, either onscreen or as someone that the other characters talk about: There's a Lemchek in Fixed Bayonets! (1951), Merrill's Marauders (1962) and The Big Red One (1980).
Spent about 20 years working with small independent companies before moving to major studios.
He has directed three films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: V-E +1 (1945), Pickup on South Street (1953) and Shock Corridor (1963).
He was known to younger filmmakers as a valuable mentor who was always happy to give advice or tell stories of his past, as a filmmaker, journalist and soldier.
He moved to New York City at a young age after is father's death.
He has been cited as a major influence by directors such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Quentin Tarantino, and Jim Jarmusch.
He was thirty-six years old when he directed his first film.
Martin Scorsese once said of Fuller: "It's been said that if you don't like The Rolling Stones, then you just don't like rock and roll. By the same token, I think that if you don't like the films of Sam Fuller, then you just don't like cinema. Or at least you don't understand it.".
Father-in-law of Regan Farquhar.
Grandfather of Samira Fuller.

Personal Quotes (10)

Film is a battleground. Love, hate, violence, action, death . . . In a word, emotion.
Am I a cult director? Yeah, I love all that. I want to join the cult of the $100- to $200-million grossers and still make an artistic picture.
Ninety-five per cent of films are born of frustration, of self-despair, of ambition for survival, for money, for fattening bank accounts. Five per cent, maybe less, are made because a man has an idea, an idea which he must express.
[Vincent van Gogh] was a great inspiration for me, a guy for whom life was work and work was life. I wanted to be like him, except I didn't want to go nuts and cut off my ear.
I hate violence. That has never prevented me from using it in my films.
[Fuller, a WW II combat veteran, writing to director Lewis Milestone--himself a World War I combat veteran--expressing his displeasure at what he considered the phony heroics of Milestone's A Walk in the Sun (1945)] Why a man of your calibre should resort to a colonel's technical advice [the film's technical advisor was a US Army colonel] on what happens in a platoon is something I'll never figure out . . . When colonels are back in their garrison hutments where they belong I'll come out with a yarn that won't make any doggie that was ever on the line retch with disgust.
[about Run of the Arrow (1957)] The Confederate in that scene who sang the song against the Constitution was played by a Southerner, whose hobby was collecting folklore and ballads. He loved it, being a Southerner and against the damn Yankees. My art director on the picture was a very virulent Yankee. I'm only telling you this because there's an evil streak in me that I like. I thought it would be wonderful to get them together in my office. I'll never forget it; it was the most wonderful moment of my life to introduce these two men who despised each other. They immediately got into a tremendous argument. I heard the whole Civil War fought all over again in my office.
I grew up believing that people make things move, like the word "movie". The world, like a moving picture, was moving forward. I wanted to advance, too, as rapidly as my quick mind and fast legs would carry me. I also grew up believing in truth--not just the word itself, but the deeper conviction that getting to the truth was a noble cause. My nature has always been to tell people the truth, even if they feel insulted. I care too much about people to bullshit them. If they're offended by the truth, why waste my time on them? When a young director comes to me for advice on a script, I don't pull any punches, especially if the thing's overwritten.
I write with the camera. It is my typewriter.
The only way to bring the real experience of war to a movie audience is by firing a machine gun above their heads during the screening.

Salary (2)

Confirm or Deny (1941) $25,000
A Return to Salem's Lot (1987) $38,000

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