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The Samuel Fuller Film Collection (It Happened in Hollywood / Adventure in Sahara / Power of the Press / The Crimson Kimono / Shockproof / Scandal Sheet / Underworld U.S.A.) (2009)

Cliff Robertson , Dolores Dorn , Phil Karlson  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Cliff Robertson, Dolores Dorn, Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta
  • Directors: Phil Karlson
  • Writers: Samuel Fuller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 529 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0024FAG6W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,393 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Samuel Fuller Film Collection (It Happened in Hollywood / Adventure in Sahara / Power of the Press / The Crimson Kimono / Shockproof / Scandal Sheet / Underworld U.S.A.)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Martin Scorsese On Underworld U.S.A
  • Curtis Hanson: The Culture Of The Crimson Kimono
  • Sam Fuller's Search For Truth With Tim Robbins
  • Sam Fuller Storyteller

  • Editorial Reviews

    Product Description

    Sony digs deep into the Columbia vaults to survey the work of writer/director Samuel Fuller. Starting as a screen writer in the late 30's, before long he was directing films, and establishing a reputation and a body of work across genres that influenced film-makers like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. This collection includes these films: It Happened in Hollywood (1937), Adventure in Sahara (1938), Power of the Press (1943), Shockproof (1949), Scandal Sheet (1952), The Crimson Kimono (1959), and Underworld U.S.A. (1961).

    A year after its landmark release of Budd Boetticher's "Ranown" Westerns, Sony showcases another great maverick filmmaker. Samuel Fuller spent most of his career in B pictures, creating ultrapersonal, formula-defying films that got little notice from workaday reviewers but impressed sharp critics like Andrew Sarris and Manny Farber. His streetwise worldview, his voice, his advisedly jarring style were so distinctive that when American film criticism underwent a major shakeup in the 1960s, Fuller was singled out as an exemplary auteur. The French New Wave revered him and he became an inspiration to later generations of American independents. Fuller was a writer long before he added directing to his résumé: New York City crime reporter, at age 17, in the '20s; pulp novelist (Test Tube Baby?); and a screenwriter at Columbia by the late '30s. So it's fine that The Samuel Fuller Collection, almost uniquely among filmmaker boxed sets, should include some movies directed by others but based on Fuller scripts or stories; there are five of them, along with two all-Fuller productions. His early film involvements were minor. He was one of four writers on It Happened in Hollywood (1937), the tale of a Tom Mix-like Western star whose career flames out when talkies arrive. Adventure in Sahara (1938) started life when omnivorous reader Fuller, invited to make a pitch to a Columbia exec, improvised on the spot: "William Bligh meets Victor Hugo!" The whiplash-inducing melodrama that resulted has Paul Kelly joining the Foreign Legion to avenge his kid brother's death, caused by the sadistic commandant (C. Henry Gordon) of Fort Agadez, "the Inferno of the Sahara."

    Hard-core Fullerism sets in with Power of the Press (1943). Although he's credited only for story, the dialogue has Fuller's headline punch, and of course newspapering was an alternative universe he knew inside out. A publisher whose once-honest New York tabloid has been ideologically hijacked is aiming to make a course correction. Minutes after saying, "The power of the press is the freedom to tell the truth--it is not the freedom to twist the truth," he's a dead man. The rest of the movie deals with the efforts of his old friend, small-town newsman Guy Kibbee, to complete the paper's redemption. Made in mid World War II, the picture angrily and explicitly likens homegrown demagoguery to Nazism--and its condemnation of media organizations "playing on the prejudices of stupid people" has acquired fresh relevance. Otto Kruger and Victor Jory ("a little Himmler") supply the villainy, while Lee Tracy steps up to save the day as a casehardened yellow journalist named Griff. Another Griff (Fuller loved that moniker) shows up in Shockproof (1949), a fascinating instance of two auteurs on one movie. Fuller wrote the novel The Lovers and had first crack at the screenplay; the director was Douglas Sirk. Cornel Wilde plays a parole officer who falls for convicted murderer Patricia Knight (Mrs. Wilde at the time). For most of its length the film sustains genuine ambiguity regarding the woman: victim or manipulator? gingerly moving toward reformation, or waiting for the first opportunity to split? We get inklings of Fuller's 1964 The Naked Kiss. Scandal Sheet (1952) is one more case of Fuller material handled by another estimable director: Phil Karlson, a crime drama specialist with a fine sense of frenzy. In this adaptation of Fuller's novel The Dark Page, Broderick Crawford is a hard-nosed newspaper editor with machine-gun delivery and a shrewd crime reporter, John Derek (quite good), whom he's trained as his spiritual heir. There's a semi-accidental murder, and then another with nothing accidental about it. Donna Reed plays Derek's fellow reporter and underappreciated love interest, and the oft-mocked Rosemary DeCamp does some juicy character acting in a key role.

    These DVD collections are always limited by what company holds the copyright on which movies. We get only two Sam Fuller-directed movies here because they're the only two he made for Columbia (now owned by Sony). One of these is a primo, in-your-face Fuller title: Underworld U.S.A. (1961), which gave Cliff Robertson a chance to play a complete slimeball--and he's the hero! He's also the grownup version of the teenager (David Kent) who watched his small-time crook of a dad murdered in an alley, beaten to death by thugs who would go on to become underworld kingpins. The film observes Robertson's revenge as he rises in their criminal empire, but the most disturbing scene centers on Richard Rust as a soft-spoken killer. Two years earlier, Fuller had made The Crimson Kimono (1959), a much less successful movie but one with bravely complicated ambitions. Two Los Angeles police detectives (Glenn Corbett and James Shigeta) investigate the murder of a stripper shot down in the middle of Main Street (a scene Fuller filmed without forewarning the local citizenry). As the case unfolds, both guys--partners, roommates, and blood brothers since the Korean War--fall in love with the same key witness (Victoria Shaw). Fuller returned again and again to the theme of America as a multiracial, multicultural society; The Crimson Kimono, in addition to many passing tributes to the Japanese-American community, dares to explore the theme of a sympathetic minority figure who projects racism onto others.

    As with previous Sony boxed sets devoted to Boetticher and Stanley Kramer, the technical quality of the prints is first-rate. There are no running commentaries, but several separate featurettes have Martin Scorsese, Wim Wenders, Curtis Hanson, Tim Robbins, and Christa and Samantha Fuller paying informed and affectionate tribute to Samuel Fuller the filmmaker and Sam Fuller the man. --Richard T. Jameson

    Customer Reviews

    4.3 out of 5 stars
    4.3 out of 5 stars
    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
    We now finally have the details on the seven films that will be in this collection:

    It Happened in Hollywood (1937) - Fuller's second film. Richard Dix stars as a silent Western star who is put out of work by the coming of talking pictures, since in the early days the technology can't be taken outdoors. He loses his career, his ranch, everything. After his fall he encounters a small boy who still adores him.

    Adventure in Sahara (1938)-Much like Mutiny on the Bounty except it is set in the desert.

    Power of the Press (1943) - From 1925-1935 Hollywood had made many anti-war films. This is one of those films that tried to reverse that trend with a tale about the dangers of isolationism.

    Shockproof (1949, directed by Douglas Sirk) - About a parole officer in love with a parolee. This is against the rules of his profession, so the parole officer fixes it so the parolee can work in his home tending to his mother. However,the parolee just may be using him and may still be in love with her gangster ex-boyfriend. Don't blame Sam for the ending. The studio rewrote it.

    Scandal Sheet (1952)- Newspaper reporters investigate the death of a woman and determine not only that it was murder but who the murderer is, which turns out to be quite interesting.

    The Crimson Kimono (1959) - A stripper is shot in the streets of L.A. and it's up to Glenn Corbett and James Shigeta as two cops to determine the killer. The whole investigation enables a tale that only Fuller could tell about interracial love along with the cast of strange people that often fill Fuller's stories.

    Underworld U.S.A. (1961) - A teenager sees her father killed by four gangsters.
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    51 of 60 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult packaging October 27, 2009
    By Jobla
    I'm not here to discuss film content, which is probably excellent. I am here to discuss the difficult packaging which plagues this set. Not only are the DVDs stacked on top of each other in twos, but the lower discs have edges that are positioned BELOW the spindles!

    I had major difficulty sliding the four lower DVDs out without breaking them (I did crack the outer packaging twice). I should have pushed down on the lower release button BEFORE attempting to slide the discs from underneath the spindles. I'm neither adroit nor mechanically minded, so the packaging was a challenge to me. Others will probably have less trouble than I experienced, as long as they are careful.

    I still hate this packaging, and would rather have slim cases in a wraparound. That would avoid the potential for breakage that I described above.

    The film transfers look quite good for the most part.
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    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and not to be forgotten! A must for a gift December 8, 2009
    Sam Fuller has an artist's eye that you can really see in his films. He is one of the few that can capture the reality of the 'Underworld' without making a mockery of it.
    He also brings the audience in to see the real L.A., n ot just Sunset Strip, but downtown, like the real Main Street and Little Tokyo and let's the location become another character of its own.
    This is a must for any film lover or friend, even if they have never heard of Sam or his films.
    I am a 28 year old female that normally does 'girly stereotypes', and went to see a screening of Underworld U.S.A. and Crimson Kimono. I am now a die hard fan! I use this as an example that he spans all sexes and generations.
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    7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great set! October 29, 2009
    By jrc
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    The content has been provided by another reviewer. As to the packaging, I found no great problem. Six of the discs are arranged in the overlapping format seen with many box-set digipaks these days. The discs in my set were easily removed, although I really hate to have to remove the top disc to get at the bottom one on the panels.

    Unlike the recent William Castle "box set," this one is actually more of what I would consider a box set. It's twice as thick as the Castle "box," and each movie gets its own disc (unlike the two-per-disc format in the Castle "box."
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Nice set; weak tribute May 23, 2014
    By Brian
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    Plenty has been said (both in the surrounding reviews and throughout the somewhat scattershot DVD bonus material) about Mr. Fuller, his personal and professional history, and his worldview-- all of which is interesting from an academic perspective; the problem with Sony's Sam Fuller collection is that the majority of the movies included in it aren't very good. This can't be blamed squarely on Fuller, as his relationship to four of the seven films here is marginal. The three features he is most closely involved with-- 'Scandal Sheet' (3-plus stars, novel on which it's based), 'Underworld U.S.A' (3-plus stars, writer/director) and 'Crimson Kimono' (3-minus stars, writer/director)-- are also the most entertaining, though not classics by any means. The others are cardboard-cutout programmers with little to recommend (Sirk's 'Shockproof' starts out as a passable doomed-romance noir in the vein of 'Gun Crazy,' then goes way off the rails into hammy-Hollywood oblivion; 'Power of the Press,' while well-acted, is so pedantic-- every line laced with righteous, spoon-fed morality-- it's painful to sit through) and easily forgotten. For me, the set is a keeper for the three better titles. As a tribute to Fuller, however, its value is modest. Picture and sound quality are excellent all around and the packaging (containing seven single-sided discs) handsome. Content rates in the neighborhood of 2 1/2 stars combined; presentation 4 stars.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 2 months ago by Jose Carlos C. Freire
    5.0 out of 5 stars Nice to have the set.
    If you like Samuel Fuller, you'll love this. It's nice to see all the movies collected together. If you don't like Samuel Fuller then you won't like this. Read more
    Published 3 months ago by DoodleLet
    5.0 out of 5 stars If you love Sam Fuller films here is a real treat for ...
    If you love Sam Fuller films here is a real treat for you. The same blunt, sincere characters, super straight ahead and earthy plot... Read more
    Published 3 months ago by Kim Hogan
    A tremendous bargain for the price of the maverick film maker. You won't find a better deal than this! Fuller was active in several genres, including noir. Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Bill Cunningham
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful price for this set
    I've seen the 2 Fuller directed films in the set. Underground USA, not available elsewhere presently, is a perfect example of a Fuller pulp film. Read more
    Published 6 months ago by M. Lang
    The title of this collection is a little misleading as only two of the seven films represented are actually directed by Samuel Fuller. Read more
    Published 7 months ago by Anthony McGill
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good Story Line
    Excellent time piece. Characters were well defined. Full of misdirection and unexpected turns. Black noir at its best. Worth the time
    Published 9 months ago by Peter McNicholas
    4.0 out of 5 stars Sam Fuller's Take on Immigrant Identity. But Without the Edge One...
    "The Crimson Kimono" is one of those Sam Fuller films whose genre cannot quite be identified. Detective Sergeant Charlie Bancroft (Glenn Corbett) and Detective Joe Kojaku (James... Read more
    Published on September 12, 2012 by mirasreviews
    3.0 out of 5 stars Underworld USA...Just OK
    The camera angles, close ups, and fast edits are certainly forward-looking for 1961. It's the script I don't really like. Read more
    Published on September 10, 2012 by mr. contrarian
    5.0 out of 5 stars A great buy.
    You'll not be dissapointed after buying this box. It's a great aquisition.
    FULLER is cinema.

    Hope they will bring all FULLER's work to DVD. Read more
    Published on February 1, 2012 by Nathan Brittles
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