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

Gene Evans , Robert Hutton , Samuel Fuller    Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Sergeant Zack (Gene Evans) is the only survivor after his platoon is executed by North Koreans. He pulls himself along painfully, hands tied behind his back with his own bootlaces, until he is discovered by a 10-year-old South Korean boy. He dubs the boy Short Round, and the two eventually hook up with an infantry squad. They find a Buddhist temple, which they take over to use as an observation post. The squad is a group of misfits: a black medic, a World War II conscientious objector, a Japanese American WWII vet, a mute, and a 90-day-wonder Officer Candidate School grad in charge. The Steel Helmet has a gritty, authentic look that transcends its low budget and occasional staginess; all the GIs have Vaseline smeared on their faces and grimy uniforms. More notable, though, is the lack of propagandizing. "Commies" are mentioned, but anti-Communist rhetoric is not. There's a distinct lack of John Wayne-style heroics in this film, and director Sam Fuller never misses an opportunity to work in his sociopolitical agenda. With a black character who's treated on an equal footing with the white GIs and open references to Jim Crow laws and the internment of Japanese Americans in WWII, it points up why Fuller confounded critics on the Left and Right both. Many of the characters and situations were culled directly from combat vet Fuller's war diaries. Strong, profound stuff for 195l, and a film that will stick in your head for days. Highly recommended for fans of Sam Fuller and war films alike. --Jerry Renshaw

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Format:VHS Tape
My 1st time that I saw this film was as a young wanna be GI. After the Army and as a Teacher I met "Short Round" who happened to become my Principal named Bill Chun. (A really good man and an excellent Principal.) He has regaled me with tales of his short Movie career and they were amusing. He had nothing but good things to say about the cast and the film. I commned it to you for a worms eye view of the "Old Army". By the by Mr. Chun did a hitch in the Regular Army in the late 50's later on before going into teaching.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAMUEL FULLER, OPUS 1, 2 AND 3 April 11 2008
By Daniel S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I SHOT JESSE JAMES ****1/2 1949. Written and directed by Samuel Fuller. Robert Ford shoots Jesse James in the back in order to get the reward and start a new life but his girl-friend doesn't want him anymore after Jesse's murder so Robert heads to Colorado to make a fortune. Superb psychological western with a first-class performance of John Ireland as Robert Ford. Note the scene of the theatre when Robert Ford is trying, as an actor playing his own character, to recreate Jesse James's murder before the audience: simply a little jewel. Highly recommended.

THE BARON OF ARIZONA ***1/2 1950. Written and directed by Samuel Fuller. An office clerk imagines an unbelievable swindle, patiently forging proofs that his wife is the legal owner of Arizona. Vincent Price is imperial as a womanizer, a monk, a gypsy and finally as the Baron of Arizona. The most impressive scene of the film is the scene of the lynching which already foreshadows the future masterpieces of Samuel Fuller. Recommended.

THE STEEL HELMET ***** 1951. Written, produced and directed by Samuel Fuller. THE STEEL HELMET was the first American movie about the Korea war which started just six months before its theatrical release. Eight soldiers, trapped in a Buddhist temple, fight the communist North Korean army. Be prepared for eighty-five minutes of non-stop tension. Samuel Fuller reveals here his taste for bizarre scenes which leave you wondering why this director isn't more appreciated. Masterpiece.

All in all, an indispensable box set for every movie lover. Don't be the last one to rediscover the most underrated American film director. Bring Sam Fuller to where he should already be. In your library.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard-hitting War Drama with Reality Nov. 25 2001
By Tsuyoshi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Samuel Fuller's name may sound unfamiliar to many movie fans in America. This is a pity because Fuller, admired in Europe, made a lot of films that can still shock you. "Steel Helmet" is one of them.
It describes hard times experienced by the soldiers during the Korean War, and though the story sometimes is melodramatic, and the film is a low-budget one (obviously stock footage is used in the climax), "Steel Helmet" always has a ring of truth. The grim reality of war is presented with Fuller's original style, and he never gives us an easy solution to the conflicting relationships between the convincing characters.
To movie fans, however, the most surprising element is the character "Short Round." The idea of putting a young, innocent Korean kid and a veteran sergeant together in a dangerous battlefield, and making their relationship a touching one, is a thing that no one but Sam Fuller can achieve. And there is even an unexpected sense of humor in there (check out the scene in which something unusual is mistaken for shell dropping, and disturbs the soldiers' sleep). So, if you are moved by the films like "Saving Private Ryan" or "Platoon," this is a must for you.
Trivia: the boy's name "Short Round" is used by Steven Spielberg in his "Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom," and director Samuel Fuller makes a cameo appearance in Spielberg's "1941." At least, Fuller is respected by him, this fact tells you.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Deal! Nov. 16 2007
By Koreacollieman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The real deal on this is "The Steel Helmet"! A movie made at the start of the Korean war that was 50 years ahead of it's time. Despite some dated terms and perceptions, it provides a tense look at a tense time. A must have to any serious war movie or any movie collector. As for the other two, well Vincent Price gives a great perfomance in "The Baron of Arizona" even if the movie plays lose and fast with the history behind it. I say get the popcorn, turn out the lights and have a great family night watching one great, one good, and one "typical oater" for a good price....
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Films of Samuel Fuller Jan. 22 2009
By J. P. Boylan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is an invaluable addition to the canon of American film, providing beautiful restorations of the early work of Sam Fuller, one of the great auteurs the 1950s. I would have paid this price just to get "The Steel Helmet," a breakthrough war film that skillfully shows the heroism and horror of combat, with a refreshing moral ambiguity and an almost painful realism. This is no flag-waving recruiting poster, but a no-nonsense depiction of everyday life on the battlefield. Fuller was way ahead of his time. Thank you, Criterion!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the few good films to come out early about Korea Dec 8 2003
By D. D Lawson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
My 1st time that I saw this film was as a young wanna be GI. After the Army and as a Teacher I met "Short Round" who happened to become my Principal named Bill Chun. (A really good man and an excellent Principal.) He has regaled me with tales of his short Movie career and they were amusing. He had nothing but good things to say about the cast and the film. I commned it to you for a worms eye view of the "Old Army". By the by Mr. Chun did a hitch in the Regular Army in the late 50's later on before going into teaching.
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