A Third Face

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(Applause Books). Winner of Best Non-Fiction for 2002 Award from the Los Angeles Times Book Review! Samuel Fuller was one of the most prolific and independent writer-director-producers in Hollywood. His 29 tough, gritty films made from 1949 to 1989 set out to capture the truth of war, racism and human frailties, and incorporate some of his own experiences. His film Park Row was inspired by his years in the New York newspaper business, where his beat included murders, suicides, state executions and race riots. He writes about hitchhiking across ...

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(Applause Books). Winner of Best Non-Fiction for 2002 Award from the Los Angeles Times Book Review! Samuel Fuller was one of the most prolific and independent writer-director-producers in Hollywood. His 29 tough, gritty films made from 1949 to 1989 set out to capture the truth of war, racism and human frailties, and incorporate some of his own experiences. His film Park Row was inspired by his years in the New York newspaper business, where his beat included murders, suicides, state executions and race riots. He writes about hitchhiking across the country at the height of the Great Depression. His years in the army in World War II are captured in his hugely successful pictures The Big Red One , The Steel Helmet and Merrill's Marauders . Fuller's other films include Pickup on South Street ; Underworld U.S.A. , a movie that shows how gangsters in the 1960s were seen as "respected" tax-paying executives; Shock Corridor , which exposed the conditions in mental institutions; and White Dog , written in collaboration with Curtis Hanson ( L.A. Confidential ), a film so controversial that Paramount's then studio heads Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner refused to release it. In addition to his work in film, Samuel Fuller (1911-1997) wrote eleven novels. He lived in Los Angeles with his wife and their daughter. A Third Face was completed by Jerome Henry Rudes, Fuller's longtime friend, and his wife, Christa Lang Fuller. "Fuller wasn't one for tactful understatement and his hot-blooded, incident-packed autobiography is accordingly blunt ... A Third Face is a grand, lively, rambunctious memoir." Janet Maslin, The New York Times ; "Fuller's last work is a joy and an important addition to film and popular culture literature." Publishers Weekly ; "If you don't like the films of Sam Fuller, then you just don't like cinema." Martin Scorsese, from the book's introduction

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
" `Hammer!' Hell if I know why that was the first goddamned word that came out of my mouth," writes cult filmmaker Fuller (1911-1997) in his autobiography's opening line. But "hammer" is an apt word for Fuller's abrupt, shocking style. With such classics as Pickup on South Street and Run of the Arrow, Fuller brought seriousness and art to the Hollywood B-movie. "I'm a storyteller," he proclaims, and this straightforward, unsentimental account of his life and substantial career is reflective of his film sensibility. The book details Fuller's early days as a journalist on the crime beat who wrote expos s of the Klan and later as a soldier in WWII. During his long career, Fuller wrote and directed 23 films, wrote another 16 and published 11 novels. Famous for his gritty stories with stark plot details-the bald prostitute beating up her pimp in The Naked Kiss; the asylum race riot started by a black man who thinks he's in the KKK in Shock Corridor-Fuller was one of Hollywood's most political filmmakers, and his memoir neatly conflates his artistic and political visions. Of Shock Corridor, he reflects, "It had the subtlety of a sledgehammer. I was dealing with insanity, racism, patriotism, nuclear warfare, and sexual perversion... my madhouse was a metaphor for America." Always energetic and often gossipy-he writes of his odd, intense friendship with Jim Morrison and how Barbara Stanwyck did her own stunts in Forty Guns-Fuller's last work is a joy and an important addition to film and popular culture literature. 171 photos. Agent, Fifi Oscard. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Detailed, colorful autobiography by one of America’s most creative filmmakers.

The gritty, uncompromising work of director Fuller (1911–97) has over the years won him a devoted international cult following. Martin Scorsese (who contributes an introduction) and Steven Spielberg (who keeps a cherished copy of Fuller’s 1954 submarine action film, Hell and High Water, in the trunk of his car) are among those who have long respected his brand of frank, violent realism. And Fuller’s life story, told here in scrappy prose, is almost more incredible than some of his scripts. Raised in New York City, he worked as a copy boy and crime reporter in the yeasty era of 1920s tabloid journalism, rode the rails during the Depression writing freelance pieces about Hoovervilles, published three novels, then enlisted in the US Army immediately after Pearl Harbor. Unabashed about revealing his heroes (Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin, and Marlene Dietrich, among others), Fuller has a Forrest Gump–like knack for being in places where history is being made, and his account is filled with vignettes of his encounters with the famous and infamous, including Al Capone, William Randolph Hearst, and Alfred Hitchcock. As a member of the legendary infantry unit memorialized in his 1980 film, The Big Red One, he saw action from North Africa through the invasion of Sicily, landed on Omaha Beach on D-day, and was caught in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, Fuller rose to Hollywood acclaim with movies distinguished by his mastery of the themes of conflict and heroism. Films like I Shot Jesse James (1949), Pickup on South Street (1953), Underworld, U.S.A. (1961), and Shock Corridor (1963) were standouts for their punchydialogue, innovative plotlines, and powerful direction. He lived some of his last years in France, where his work has been popular ever since it inspired Jean-Luc Goddard and other filmmakers of the French New Wave in the 1950s.

An inspiring tale of a remarkable life.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557836274
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 610
  • Sales rank: 984,023
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Fuller was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1911. He wrote, produced, and directed twenty-nine films and wrote eleven novels. Fuller lived in Los Angeles with his wife and their daughter and died at the age of eighty-five in 1997. A Third Face was completed by Jerome Rudes, Fuller’s longtime friend, and his wife, Christa Lange Fuller.

Jerome Rudes was born in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas and received a master’s degree in film from Northwestern University. In 1984, he created the French-American Film Workshop in Avignon, France (now the Avignon Film Festival), and in 1995 started the Avignon/New York Film Festival. Rudes lives in New York and Provence.

Christa Lange Fuller was born in Winterberg, Germany. As an actress, she appeared in New Wave films directed by Jean-Luc Godard. She graduated from UCLA, where she received a master’s degree in French literature. She was married to Samuel Fuller in 1967 and lives in Los Angeles, California, with their daughter, Samantha, and grandchild, Samira.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi
Introduction xiii
Part I
1. A Stroke of Good Fortune 3
2. Plunging in Head First 7
3. Mama's Boy 12
4. Manhattan Explorer 17
5. Run Sammy Run 25
6. Flash Like a New Comet 39
7. World of Nevertheless 54
8. Westward Ho 64
9. Chaos and Bewilderment 77
10. Added Zeroes 87
11. Forget About Greatness 98
Part II
12. The Big Red One 109
13. Husky 122
14. Just Stand There 135
15. Impossible to Feel Blessed 147
16. Send a Photo to My Mother 162
17. Detailed Description 176
18. Death Rained Down 178
19. Eggs Off a Woman's Belly 190
20. A River of Tears 200
21. Falkenau 213
22. Earthquake of War 219
Part III
23. The Bubble Will Burst 233
24. The First Adult Western 244
25. Earning Some Clout 251
26. Pursuit of Happiness 267
27. A Little Black-and-White Picture 279
28. Don't Wave the Flag at Me 291
29. Wide-Screen Sub Picture 307
30. Cherry Blossoms and Whirligigs 314
31. Mato Grosso 324
32. Where's Your Pride, Ma? 332
Part IV
33. Grab 'Em. Slap 'Em. Shak' 'Em Up 345
34. Stuffed with Phalluses 355
35. I Used My Own Voice 365
36. Los Angeles, Mon Amour 375
37. Breathing Revenge 382
38. The Smell of Truth 391
39. Tempted by Television 398
40. Love Your Country Despite the Ulcers 403
41. Want to Be a Lindy? 415
Part V
42. Two to Tango 427
43. Sharks 440
44. Lean Times 446
45. Off the Radar Screen 450
46. Turmoil and Waste 456
47. Making It All Worthwhile 464
48. The Unmaking of a Klansman 471
49. Let Them Judge for Themselves 475
50. Four-Legged Time Bomb 484
Part VI
51. A Third Face 497
52. Breadwinner in France 505
53. Half Full, Not Half Empty 512
54. Sons and Sonsofbitches 518
55. Being Serious Without Taking It Seriously 526
56. Still Burning Inside 530
57. Metamorphosis of a Melody 537
58. Long, Long Thoughts 543
59. State of Peace 550
60. Kiss Me, Baby 556
Notes 563
The Works of Samuel Fuller 569
Bibliography 575
Acknowledgments 577
Index 579
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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted November 26, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Samuel Fuller¿s autobiography A THIRD FACE is an indispensable book for lifelong Fuller fans and for neophytes who want to know more, including students and teachers now that the work of this disreputable pop genius is being screened in university film schools. Edited by Fuller¿s wife Christa Lang Fuller and Jerome Henry Rudes, it gives more information than has ever been available in one place about the man behind the films.

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