From the Front Page to the Front Lines: The Essential Sam Fuller

July 29–August 31, 2022

Ten essential films from Samuel Fuller’s influential oeuvre confront prejudice and inequity head-on, chronicling the grit, resilience, and soulful struggle of misfits, foot soldiers, petty criminals, detectives, and reporters surviving in the face of moral misgivings or psychological trauma.

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  • Pickup on South Street

  • House of Bamboo

  • Shock Corridor

  • The Steel Helmet

  • The Crimson Kimono

  • Upcoming
    Films
  • Past
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Upcoming Films

  • Pickup on South Street

    Samuel Fuller
    United States, 1953

    Archival 35mm Print

    • Friday, July 29 7 PM

    Fuller managed to irk Herbert Hoover and leftist critics by depicting honest crooks caught between the cops and a Communist plot. 

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  • The Steel Helmet

    Samuel Fuller
    United States, 1951

    Archival 35mm Print

    • Wednesday, August 3 7 PM

    Disdain for war creeps into every characterization of Fuller’s grim film about an American patrol lost in the woods of North Korea, which the Pentagon called “vicious [and] full of perversions.”

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  • Park Row

    Samuel Fuller
    United States, 1952
    • Friday, August 5 7 PM

    A history in miniature of the emergence of modern journalism and a combined portrait of Joseph Pulitzer and other great newspaper editors of the period, Park Row was, for Fuller, “the story of my heart,” a love letter to the popular press. 

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  • House of Bamboo

    Samuel Fuller
    United States, 1955

    Archival 35mm Print

    • Wednesday, August 10 7 PM

    Fuller combines two favorite topics, crime and GIs, in the first postwar Hollywood film shot in Japan. Astonishing CinemaScope images of Tokyo street life illuminate the backdrop of this gangster film involving crooked ex-soldiers organizing a syndicate in occupied Japan.

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  • Forty Guns

    Samuel Fuller
    United States, 1957
    • Friday, August 12 7 PM

    Fuller’s wildly Freudian Western—brilliantly blatant in its conflation of sex, violence, and power, and its “perversion” of the Western’s usual treatment of all three—stars Barbara Stanwyck as a “high-ridin’ woman with a whip.” 

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  • The Crimson Kimono

    Samuel Fuller
    United States, 1959

    Archival 35mm Print

    • Wednesday, August 17 7 PM

    Celebrating both diversity and racial unity in a rare moment of optimism, Fuller uses Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo as the backdrop for a sympathetic portrayal of interracial romance embedded in a police melodrama about the murder of a nightclub stripper. 

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  • Underworld U.S.A.

    Samuel Fuller
    United States, 1961

    Archival 35mm Print

    • Saturday, August 20 7 PM

    In Fuller’s purest film noir, starkly photographed by Hal Mohr in deep shadows, Cliff Robertson’s Tolly Devlin is a brutishly single-minded protagonist doomed by his desire for revenge. In Fuller’s noir universe, there’s no redemption for the pathologically obsessed.

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  • The Naked Kiss

    Samuel Fuller
    United States, 1964

    Archival 35mm Print

    • Wednesday, August 24 7 PM

    Fuller’s tabloid sensibilities propelled his most florid tale, starring Constance Towers as a prostitute who descends on Anytown, USA, in an effort to go straight and winds up caught in a web of scandal.

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  • Shock Corridor

    Samuel Fuller
    United States, 1963

    Archival 35mm Print

    • Saturday, August 27 7 PM

    A Pulitzer Prize–seeking journalist has himself committed to a mental institution to investigate the unsolved murder of one of the patients, witnessed by three inmates: a brainwashed GI, a broken-spirited Black activist, and a former nuclear physicist.

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  • The Big Red One: The Reconstruction

    Samuel Fuller
    United States, 1980/2004

    35mm Print

    • Wednesday, August 31 7 PM

    Fuller’s dream project was based on a nightmare: his own experience of combat in World War II. Richard Schickel’s 2004 reconstruction used Fuller’s script and notes to repair and reinstate scenes missing from the truncated version released in 1980. 

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