144 Great Directors: Samuel Fuller

“Ninety-five per cent of films are born of frustration, of self-despair, of ambition for survival, for money, for fattening bank accounts. Five per cent, maybe less, are made because a man has an idea, an idea which he must express.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Body of work.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Steel Helmet.

What Did I Watch: Pickup on South Street.

Where Does He Fit: Pickup on South Street is everything you could want from a movie and it does it in eighty minutes. It’s a miracle how such a grim, nasty little tale about how the poor get treated like shit and political affiliations are irrelevant can turn into a web of complexities related to domestic abuse and assisted suicide and the power of film to change lives with a single frame. The dialogue is deliciously savory, the camera whirls around with countless perfect edits, and the mise en scene is sparsely perfect. Best of all: Thelma Ritter, robbed of her rightful Oscar after giving a monologue for the ages.


Most Valuable Asset: Furious search for the truth.
Most Excited For: Shock Corridor.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Absolutely.

Coming Up Next: French Hitchcock Henri-Georges Clouzot.


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