Posts Tagged ‘samuel fuller’

Pickup On South Street

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Pickup on South Street (The Criterion Collection)

Tagline – How the law took a chance on a B-girl… and won!

Starring – Richard Widmark (Skip McCoy), Jean Peters (Candy), Thelma Ritter (Moe Williams).

Released – June, 1953

Directed By – Samuel Fuller

Produced By –  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Distributed By – Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Description – The subway was crowded, and she was an easy mark for a skilled pickpocket like Skip McCoy. Taking the purse of Candy was the easy part; things will get a whole lot more difficult from here.

Unknown to Skip, inside Candy’s purse was a piece of top-secret microfilm that was to be passed by Candy to a Communist agent. Candy was just doing a favor for her ex-boyfried and didn’t know just what it was, or how important it is.

Also unknown, to both Candy and McCoy, was the fact that Government agents were watching her every move, knew of her destination, and saw McCoy take her purse.

When McCoy learns of the importance of just what he is in possession of he starts to get ideas. Meanwhile, Candy learns of McCoy’s whereabouts through Moe Williams, a police informer, and sets out to get the microfilm back through seduction.

Her efforts bring on another complication as she finds herself falling in love with McCoy. As for McCoy, he now has the Government agents, and the Communists agents, hot on his trail. Personally, he has no favorite and hopes to give the microfilm to the first party to come up with $25,000.

However, this pickpocket may have bitten off more than he can chew.

NOTABLE: Pickup On South Street received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Thelma Ritter).

Director Fuller turned down a number of more famous leading ladies for the role of Candy. They included Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Shelly Winters, Betty Grable, and initially Jean Peters. However, while having lunch in the studio’s commissary and meeting Peter’s once again, Fuller realized she was perfect, He liked her intelligence, spunkiness, and her ability to play different roles convincingly.

The initial script was ruled as unacceptable by the Production Code due to “excessive brutality and sadistic beatings, of both men and women.” Script revisions were necessary to get approval.

Pickup On South Street was shot in 20 days.

Personal Note: A great job by Director Samuel Fuller and the excellent cast. This is a very good Film Noir, suspenseful, tough, and violent.

Fixed Bayonets

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Fixed Bayonets

Starring – Richard Basehart (Cpl. Denno), Gene Evans (Sgt. Rock), Michael O’Shea (Sgt. Lonergan), Richard Hylton (Medic John Wheeler), Skip Homeier (Whitey).

Released – December, 1951

Directed By – Samuel Fuller

Produced By –  Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Distributed By – Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Description – Exciting Korean War drama about a single platoon assigned to defend a hill in enemy territory as the rest of their regiment retreats to safety in an effort to regroup.

A typically tough and realistic Sam Fuller production that offers insight into the psychological aspects of those forced to lead what may be a doomed mission. A great deal of authenticity is added to the film through the use of U.S. Army Medal of Honor winner Raymond Harvey as technical advisor.

NOTABLE: Although uncredited, this was the first feature film appearance of James Dean.

The Steel Helmet

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Eclipse Series 5: The First Films of Samuel Fuller (The Baron of Arizona / I Shot Jesse James / The Steel Helmet) (The Criterion Collection)

Tagline – Hits Hard at Your Heart!

Starring – Gene Evans (Sgt. Zack), Robert Hutton (Pvt. Bronte), Steve Brodie (Lt. Driscoll), James Edwards (Cpl. Thompson), Richard Loo (Sgt. Tanaka), Sid Melton (Joe).

Released – February, 1951

Directed By – Samuel Fuller

Produced By – Deputy Corporation

Distributed By – Lippert Pictures

Description – Sgt. Zack is a war-hardened, lone survivor of a North Korean attack that has wiped out his entire company who now finds himself in charge of a group of American soldiers who have been separated from their own units.

This odd group of soldiers, that include a conscientious objector, a Japanese/American, and a black medic, find themselves holed up in a Buddhist temple awaiting the enemies next move. Complicating matters is their captured North Korean Major who attempts to divide the group using one against the other.

NOTABLE: A fine low-budget war melodrama with a surprisingly modern-day view of war was, almost unbelievably, filmed in ten days. How low-budget? A Chinese tank that attacks Sgt. Zack’s patrol is actually make of plywood.

The extras used in this film were students from UCLA who portrayed both North Korean and American soldiers.

The Steel Helmet was the first motion picture to be based on the Korean War.