Criterion > Sam Fuller > 2006

Discussion in 'DVD' started by TimJS, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. TimJS

    TimJS Second Unit

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    From Barrie Maxwell's column at the 'bits:



    Hope Criterion can come up with some cool extras for Steel Helmet... haven't seen the other two.

    Tim
     
  2. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Why release these before, say, SHOCK CORRIDOR (which they released on LD) or WHITE DOG (Paramount isn't going to be releasing it) or PARK ROW?

    I've seen all three and, to be honest, I won't be buying any. BARON is one of his weakest.
     
  3. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    You may mean re-release, but they did Shock Corridor very early on-review here at DVD Beaver.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I have the Criterion "Shock Corridor" dvd and I'm really looking forward to having "I Shot Jesse James" on dvd which was Fuller's first directed film and "The Steel Helmet" which I consider one of his best films.





    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Ahhh! I did not know that. I still have my old LD so I never upgraded.

    But still, BARON is a very odd choice to release as, well, it was a pretty nothing film, by anyone's standards. I got it on VHS 15 years ago, watched it once, never had any desire to see it again. In fact, I think I bought it the same time I got the other two.
     
  6. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    It's worth repeating that Paramount doesn't license their films to other companies for DVD release (even if the film involved is a controversial "hot potato" which they might refuse to release themselves--though I would add that, in many cases, controversy tends to create more sales than animosity). Criterion can only release titles for which it can obtain the rights.

    To the larger question, it may be that Criterion could only secure the rights to The Steel Helmet through a package deal that also included I Shot Jesse James and The Baron of Arizona in the bundle. Given Fuller's auteur status, I'm sure there's more than one maverick critic willing to go to bat for The Baron of Arizona andf conclude that it's an 'overlooked minor masterwork' or some such.
     
  7. seanOhara

    seanOhara Supporting Actor

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    I've been hoping for something like this since I saw the Fuller trailer gallery on the Pickup on South Street DVD. But I think Steel Helmet is the only one of these that was included there.
     
  8. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Stunt Coordinator

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    I've never understood this kind of mentality; "they shouldn't release 'XYandZ' because they haven't released 'ABandC' yet." Essentially, you don't want them to release one thing, because there's something else they haven't already released. I'd love to have Park Row on DVD as well, but I'll be glad to have these three films in the meantime.
     
  9. eric tengren

    eric tengren Stunt Coordinator

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    UNDERWORLD USA is another I wish they would release
     
  10. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Well, in the case of BARON, it isn't worth the time for Criterion to remaster and release it. Have you seen it? It is a pretty terrible film. Other than Fuller completists, it won't have much of an audience. Of all the films out there Criterion could spend their time on, it shouldn't be in the top 1000. JESSE JAMES isn't much better.

    I mean, this is Criterion. People buy their titles just because the Criterion name is on it. Many people buy them just for the spine number and don't even unwrap them. Not that every film they have released is a masterpiece, but BARON would be among the lesser films they have released.
     
  11. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    As much as I love Fuller, it is going to be a bit of a pain when forking out $50 just to get Steel Helmet as part of a Fuller boxed set, so I am hoping that these will be individual releases, though, being Criterion, it is bound to be a box; they haven't released many boxes this year. Also, I Shot Jesse James and The Baron of Arizona would be poor sellers if they were $20-25 each. I Shot Jesse James is okay, but The Baron of Arizona is weak; neither are worthy of a Criterion release in my snobbish opinion.

    Fixed Bayonets! (1951, 20th Century Fox) - VHS is OOP
    China Gate (1957, ???) - Republic's ancient VHS is OOP: do they still own the rights?
    Verboten! (1959, ???) - Who owns this?

    Park Row (1952, ???) - VHS is OOP
    The Crimson Kimono (1959, ???) - Who owns this?
    Underworld U.S.A. (1961, Sony) - VHS is OOP
    Merrill's Marauders (1962, Warner) - VHS is OOP
    Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street (1974) - Fantoma were going to release it, with extras, but they appear to be going bust

    The first three may be up for grabs and they are all War films and would compliment Stee Helmet better. Oh, well, we'll see what happens.
     
  12. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I'd also love to see Park Row, Dead Pigeon and Underworld but Im very happy that Steel Helmet and I Shot Jesse James are finally being released...
     
  13. BrianRi

    BrianRi Stunt Coordinator

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    That's freakin' ridiculous. People should be able to find better uses for their money. Like giving it to me so I can buy dvds I'll actually watch.
     
  14. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Was PARK ROW ever released on VHS? It is one of the few of his I haven't seen. And it rarely gets a TV showing.

    MERRIL'S MARAUDERS was released on LD, letterboxed, in the 90's. Don't know what is taking Warner so long to release this. I actually think it is one of his better films, even though a lot of his cult doesn't.

    DEAD PIGEON though is one that sort of made me rethink his career. It is such a mess that it kind of was on the line between intentional rawness and just plain ineptness. I'm not convinced he knew what he was doing on that film. Made me think that maybe a lot of what was seen as his style in his earlier films wasn't intentional, just crudeness because he didn't know what he was doing.

    BTW, if anyone hasn't read his autobiography from a couple years ago, it is without question Fuller's greatest work. Better than any of his films. A must read.
     
  15. ChristopherBlig

    ChristopherBlig Stunt Coordinator

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    Just got through my few days with Sam Fuller (love the Men who makes the Movies portion of Big Red One) and was thrilled to hear this great news. If only one of these 3 discs (preferably Steel Helmet) could include the documentary The Typewriter, The Rifle and the Movie Camera
    along in the extras.

    Now if the next can be a 4 pack of Run of the Arrow, Fixed Bayonets, Park Row and China Gate, there can be a solid release!

    btw, China Gate is playing at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC on September with this listing:


    China Gate. 1957. USA. Written and directed by Samuel Fuller. With Gene Barry, Nat “King” Cole. A tense drama about mercenaries out to destroy an arms depot near the Chinese border. Angie Dickinson plays Lucky Legs, and uses her famous gams to broker an impossible deal. 95 min.

    Saturday, September 3, 4:00. T1; Saturday, September 10, 7:00. T2

    worth seeing after watching the trailer gallery on Pickup again
     
  16. ChristopherBlig

    ChristopherBlig Stunt Coordinator

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    Just got through my few days with Sam Fuller (love the Men who makes the Movies portion of Big Red One) and was thrilled to hear this great news. If only one of these 3 discs (preferably Steel Helmet) could include the documentary The Typewriter, The Rifle and the Movie Camera
    along in the extras.

    Now if the next can be a 4 pack of Run of the Arrow, Fixed Bayonets, Park Row and China Gate, there can be a solid release!

    btw, China Gate is playing at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC on September with this listing:


    China Gate. 1957. USA. Written and directed by Samuel Fuller. With Gene Barry, Nat “King” Cole. A tense drama about mercenaries out to destroy an arms depot near the Chinese border. Angie Dickinson plays Lucky Legs, and uses her famous gams to broker an impossible deal. 95 min.

    Saturday, September 3, 4:00. T1; Saturday, September 10, 7:00. T2


    worth seeing after watching the trailer gallery on Pickup again
     
  17. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    It is weird that Warner have yet to release Merrill's Marauders on DVD. Their war movie releases over the past few years have been excellent and Merrill's Marauders would be most appreciated on DVD in addition to the superb Big Red One set.
     
  18. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    Jon,

    YOU may dislike The Baron Of Arizona but it was Vincent Price's favorite of his many film roles (along with Laura) and is commented favorably on by film scholars.

    It's not my favorite Fuller film but there's enough there to make it mandatory inclusion for any serious student of Fuller's work.
     
  19. Derek Estes

    Derek Estes Stunt Coordinator

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    I shot Jesse James is a subversive masterpiece and an important film in Fuller's cannon, besides the fact that it was his first film. The Baron of Arizona is also quite an interesting film, and should not be dismissed so quickly, particularly if it was only watched once 15 years ago. And The Steel Helmet is a legendary classic, and needs no explanation.
    All of these films are Criterion worthy, even as a record of rarely seen American independent films. Each of these films would lay the foundation that Fuller would build upon over the next 40 years with his subsequent films. None of these films have been properly represented on Home Video before at least in the US, Jesse James and Baron will be making their first proper appearance on Video, and the VHS of Steel Helmet was never anything to write home about.

    I'm ecstatic at the rumor of these releases, and wish Criterion the best of luck.

    As for Park Row, it is currently owned by Sony by way of U/A. This is a film I would love to see fans put pressure on Sony to release, because it doesn't fit into any other marketable genre such as Noir or Western. Sony currently hold the rights to such Fuller classics as Underworld USA, The Crimson Kimono, and as far as I have found the rights to Verboten. These films would make a wonderful box set. If Sony could be persuaded to release them.
     

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