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The Steel Helmet


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Wow!  If I don’t have anything else go right for me this week-end at least I discovered this little gem.  Trust TCM to come through for us.


First, from Ben’s opening comments, this was a great example of what can be done with limited resources when people really care about their work and take pride in what they do.  I did not see any evidence of the short cuts Ben said Fuller had to take on screen.  It was like the old Outer Limits TV show where they did such amazing things with Styrofoam cups and old vacuum cleaner parts.    Today’s filmmakers think you need 200 million to just shoot the credits.


The story and characters were believable which showed Fuller’s ability to transfer his real- life experiences onto film even though the wars were different.  Sadly, this pointed out his ending statement that “There’s no end to this story”.


Gene Evans:  What a great beginning to such a long and fruitful career!  Yes, Zack’s a jerk but learns the hard way what being a soldier is really about.  For a moment you think he gets killed near the end but find yourself glad when he’s not. 


No wonder Fuller inspired so many moviemakers who’ve followed him.  I’m going to look at more of his work myself.

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Sam Fuller directed two of the best Korean war films ever. "The Steel Helmet" and "Fixed Bayonets" with Gene Evans again, Richard Basehart and Michael O'Shea.A bigger budget then "Helmet" and the first under his 20th Century Fox deal it is never the less a Fuller film more about the dog faces then the war.Jump ahead about 30 years and he again directed a terrific war film, "The Big Red One" based on Fullers combat experiences with the Big Red One. It starred Lee Marvin in one of his finest roles ever. Along with Mark Hamill and Robert Carradine as the young "Sam Fuller". A beautiful film again more about the soldier then the war, but with some great battle scenes. The studio cut  quite a nice piece from it, but a few years after  Fullers death it was reconstructed and is as close to Fuller's version as it can get.  If you have never seen this film or only the edited version, Do yourself a favor  and watch a great filmmaker deliver the goods once again....

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