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Eclipse Series 5: The First Films of Samuel Fuller (The Baron of Arizona / I Shot Jesse James / The Steel Helmet) (The Criterion Collection) (1949)

Preston Foster , John Ireland , Samuel Fuller  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Eclipse Series 5: The First Films of Samuel Fuller (The Baron of Arizona / I Shot Jesse James / The Steel Helmet) (The Criterion Collection) + 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.)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Preston Foster, John Ireland, Reed Hadley, Tom Tyler, Tommy Noonan
  • Directors: Samuel Fuller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Eclipse
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2007
  • Run Time: 262 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QXDFS0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,144 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Eclipse Series 5: The First Films of Samuel Fuller (The Baron of Arizona / I Shot Jesse James / The Steel Helmet) (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

His films have been called raw, outrageous, sensational, and daring. In four decades of directing, Samuel Fuller created a legendarily idiosyncratic oeuvre, examining U.S. history and mythmaking in westerns, film noirs, and war epics. And characteristically, it all began with a bang: after printing the legend with the elegant B-pictures I Shot Jesse James and The Baron of Arizona, he got himself into hot water with the FBI on The Steel Helmet, the first American movie to portray the Korean War. These three independent films showed off Fuller’s genre diversity, gutter wit, and subversive force, and pointed the way to a controversial career in studio moviemaking.

I Shot Jesse James

Fuller's directorial debut is a psychological western, excavating, with pathos and humor, the tale of Robert Ford, the member of Jesse James's gang who shot the famed outlaw in the back.

The Baron of Arizona A devilishly witty Vincent Price plays a nineteenth-century con man who sets out to commit the most epic swindle in U.S. history: to claim himself as the rightful inheritor of Arizona.

The Steel Helmet With its low budget and high ambitions, Fuller's snarling Korean War film, an examination of race relations as well as a visceral plunge into battle, remains one of the director's most discussed and admired works.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer 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
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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard-hitting War Drama with Reality November 25, 2001
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.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Deal! November 16, 2007
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....
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Films of Samuel Fuller January 22, 2009
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!
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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 December 8, 2003
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steel Helmet June 20, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
One of the earliest films to deal with the Korean War, Steel Helmet has good action (on a limited budget, which shows in the
largest battle scene), well-drawn characters, and visits more than
one contemporaneous issue, including racism and manipulation
of that issue by the Soviets and their satellites during the Cold War. I saw the film originally in its year of release.
For me, the best element of the film is Gene Evans' portrayal of Sgt. Zack, a hard boiled, but not cast-iron career soldier.
Viewed as a document both for, and yet a little ahead of its time, Steel Helmet is a great lower budget contribution to
the film literature of the Korean War.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
classic Korean war black and white
Published 21 days ago by Gary R. Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome film work
Bought this specifically to see "The Steel Helmet". Awesome film work.
Published 1 month ago by rotts9
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I was in the Korea war & had been looking for this movie. Thanks again !!!!!!!!!!
Published 1 month ago by Hal
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong
Three of Samuel Fuller's best early movies. Unfortunately mostly unknown by today's mass audiences. These movies excell in story, lighting and acting.
Published 4 months ago by Pete N. Austira
5.0 out of 5 stars Samuel Fuller Review
The Baron of Arizona and The Steel Helmet are classic movies.Two of the best in their genre.The Steel Helmet is the most realistic war movie of it's era
Published 4 months ago by Frank Trapani
4.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener to those not familiar with Korea.
This was one of the first movies coming out concerning the Korean War. It is gritty and pretty much the way it was although the role of the Korean youngster might have been over... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Phil Hull
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Movie
Little known Korean War movie that I found riveting. Akin to a cross between All Quiet on the Western Front and Seven Samurai, filmed and produced while the Korean War was still... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Russell R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice
Beautiful transfers of Mr. Fuller's first films as a director. I will watch these over the years, not just a one-time viewing and that's it.
Published 19 months ago by Wesley B. Loflin III
Published 19 months ago by jimi
5.0 out of 5 stars Vincent Price a great actor
I saw this movie as a kid and have been waiting for it to be released on dvd. VincentPrice shows his versatily as a actor. It is a true story. Read more
Published 21 months ago by J. D. hill
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