What could have been a flimsy, disposable b-movie in the hands of other, less competent directors, becomes an evocative war tale of grit, fear, loss and redemption in the hands of Sam Fuller. There's no abstract sophistication or sentimental pap though: this is raw and true film-making, unpretentious and stripped of all fat. Director Sam Fuller is a unique beast in the American underground: having worked both as a crime report for NYC newspapers before he enlisted as a soldier in WWII, it comes natural then that the Steel Helmet has the urgency and power of both of his pre-directorial careers. A reporter's sense of story and characters above all and the firsthand experience of a war veteran. True to itself, simple but never simplistic, with respect to the subject matter and without any flag waving, The Steel Helmet is better than it had any right to be. It is still a low-profile (in terms of stars and publicity or lack thereof) b-movie but shot with a conviction and passion few a-list movies can muster.