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My Tale of Writing, Fighting and Filmmaking
The Biography of Samuel Fuller
A Book Review by Alex Grant

Published five years after his death at age 85,in 1997 A THIRD FACE was posthumously concluded by Sam Fuller’s widow Christa Lang Fuller, whom he wed in 1967 at age 56 and by Jerome Henry Rudes. Between 1936 and 1994 Samuel Fuller a man often castigated as either a ‘red-baiter’ or a communist sympathizer/’pinko’ wrote 56 film projects, of which he directed 23, starting in 1949 (I SHOT JESSE JAMES) – other men directed 15 of his scripts- leaving 18 as yet unproduced.Between 1935 and 1993 Fuller had 11 novels published.He also directed 6 episodes of tv western serials. Four of Fuller’s most notable movies were in the western genre: FORTY GUNS (1957) is the most celebrated of these noir/Freudian horse operas.The writer-director also acted in 23 films beginning at age 54 in Jean-Luc Godard’s PIERROT LE FOU.

At age 17 in 1928 Sam Fuller fulfilled his teenage ambitionto graduate as a crime reporter for the NEW YORK EVENING GRAPHIC under the scrutiny of Editor Emile-Henri Gauvreau, a daily founded by the gutter-press millionaire Bernarr Macfadden, a body-builder and health-nut or food-fascist.THE GRAPHIC has its first issue out on September 19th,1924 by which time Fuller was already a tiro newsman..Assigned to cover a small-town double suicide Fuller was accompanied by woman reporter Rhea Gore, the mother of filmmaker John Huston,himself a reporter but allegedly an ineffectual one. Gore and Fuller exposed the crime as a murder-suicide. After this initiation in ‘real-life’ described on pages 43-44 Fuller’s autobiography never lets up for another 520 pages, bringing to life D-Day 'The Sixth of June' and the hell on earth of his regiment in North Africa ‘The Big Red One’.

A THIRD EYE is a hoot a blast-from-the-past and a sobering account of an almost unbelievable saga of self-realisation. My own personal favourites among Fuller’s searing and ruthless melodramas are HOUSE OF BAMBOO (1955),
© Alex Grant November 2002

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