Sam Fuller’s gritty war film The Steel Helmet will be on TCM tomorrow, November 9th at 2PM. Below is an excerpt from my book, Lessons in the Dark.
He has been called a guerrilla filmmaker, a primitive filmmaker and a tabloid filmmaker. Whatever title you want to label him with, Sam Fuller’s The Steel Helmet is a low budget masterpiece made for only $100,000 in just 10 days. It may just be the most honest and brutal look at war ever put on film. Produced, directed and written (he used his own diaries as source material) by Fuller, The Steel Helmet is the story of a battle weary Sergeant known only as Zack, the sole survivor in his unit massacred by the North Koreans. As portrayed by Gene Evans, a World War II veteran himself, Zack is cynical, bad-tempered and unemotional.
You can read more about The Steel Helmet and other films including Gold Diggers of 1933, M.A.S.H., Ace in the Hole and Brute Force in Lessons in the Dark available from Amazon.
Sam Fuller’s gritty Korean War film, The Steel Helmet, will be on Turner Classic Movies on Saturday May 27th (4:30pm ET) as part of its annual Memorial Day Weekend tribute. Despite being over 60 Yeas old, the film is quite contemporary in its view of the high cost of war. Gene Evans, Steve Brodie, Robert Hutton and James Edwards star in this under the radar film.
You can read more about it in my book, Lessons in the Dark, available at Amazon.
Here is an excerpt…
“Fuller has filled the screen with brutal battle scenes presenting one of the harshest views of the realities of war. Bloody, horrific and deadly. The men are dirty and scared. There are no heroes and no cowards, just men trying to survive and survival is precarious. Fuller’s Americans are multi-cultural, from different backgrounds, filled with misfits and offbeat characters. From John Wayne’s patriotic war films to Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (1998), we have seen the unit composed of the misfit, the hotheaded kid, the kid from Brooklyn, the kid from the mid-west, the pacifist and so on. What makes The Steel Helmet unique is a coarse quality that filters throughout separating it from the others” – Lessons in the Dark