I dont know the first thing about design, these are just some of the LB posters I think are cool…
The Steel Helmet
It's the REAL Korean Story!
A ragtag group of American stragglers battles against superior Communist troops in an abandoned Buddhist temple during the Korean War.
Combat isn’t a poetic ballad but a blow to the head, says Samuel Fuller; his riposte to Milestone’s A Walk in the Sun opens with the audience already besieged by artillery shells. The body-strewn aftermath of an ambush introduces the mauled terrain of the Korean War, the bestial sergeant (Gene Evans) stomps through it like bundled dynamite wrapped in a beard, a deranged guide for a deranged conflict. He’s joined by a munchkin dubbed Short Round (William Chun) and an Army medic (James Edwards), then runs into a lost American patrol surrounded by Red snipers. Among the dogfaces is a fellow World War II survivor (Richard Loo), a conscientious objector (Robert Hutton) lugging a mini-church organ, a radio operator (Richard…
Astounding that Fuller was able to get away with something so progressive back in the early 50's, a pretty aggressive attack on racism that points the finger at the complacent Americans who would more than likely make up most of the audience. Gene Evans is great as the wearer of the titular helmet, a gruff and experienced sergeant who seems to hate the company of others as much as he hates intolerance. Also features a character you almost never see in films from this era: Harold Fong as the enemy combatant whose logical arguments make more sense than some of the protagonists'. As he pokes and prods and whispers in the ears of the Americans, you definitely get the sense…
Excellent war movie that manages to get across both the lived in bagginess of Fuller's wartime anecdotal writing style with the taut low budget action direction to create something special.
As with so much of Fuller's work it is both contradictory and brave. Attacking American racism front on with no easy answers, just minority actors getting to agree with communist Korean complaints about American society before shrugging and getting on with being competent, rounded characters. At the same time it shows brutal violence against prisoners from the character who at first had seemed like your typical gruff officer baiting sergeant. A character who avoids a court martial through the officers death, not because his actions were being shown to be…
"If you die, I'll kill ya!". Fuller's supremely low-budget, shot in 10 days (though you wouldn't pick either) effort is a great war movie, of a genre I'm generally not too hot on. The eclectic group stuck together inside a Buddhist temple all bring complex and problematic ideas to the usually black-and-white world of Hollywood war, like the black medic, fighting for a country that discriminates him with Jim Crow laws in peace time. The performances are all solid and the action sequences well directed. A tight 85 minutes means there is little in the way of filler or dull moment, a real American war classic.
Human beings in a mob
What's a mob to a king? What's a king to a god?
What's a god to a non-believer? Who don't believe in anything?
We make it out alive. All right, all right
No church in the wild
To Sam Fuller, war is the great equalizer. When it rains bullets, there’s no conscious awareness of where it goes. It pierces the skin – regardless of age, creed, race, or religion– just the same. Still, if there were a war-zone equivalent to privilege, it would see a bullet ricochet through a soldier’s steel helmet, leaving behind just a trace scar. We’re not all bulletproof; some are just luckier than others.
As always with Fuller, more textured, more intense, and more progressive than you initially expect. He uses the Korean War to introduce themes and tone that later Vietnam War pictures will attempt to replicate, but they won't do it as well. "There is no end to this story."
Sam Fuller’s movies always begin with some kind of eyecatching visuals. In The Steel Helmet, there’s a single shot of a punctured army helmet as the opening credits are shown. This metal bucket belongs to Sgt. Zack (Gene Evans) a grizzled, cigar chomping vet who has had his hands tied behind his back after being captured by the North Koreans. He’s escaped a miserable fate since a bullet missed his noggin by inches, during a massacre of his fellow soldiers. Luckily for him a young South Korean boy (William Chun) appears and helps him get free. Zack quickly nicknames the kid “Short Round” (sound familiar?) and the two set off across the countryside.
They soon encounter Cpl. Thompson (James Edwards)…
Far and away the least racist film to feature an Asian character named Short Round that I've ever seen.
Setting a big chunk of the film in a deserted Buddhist temple goes a long way in setting up the ways of dealing with racism and getting the most out of a small budget, which is something Fuller isn't always successful with (see Fixed Bayonets!). But talking about simple, yet very socially engaged films, he was very interested in dealing with bigger themes in smaller films, so the fact that they hold up this well is a testament to his skills. He also wrote the far superior Shortround than the Indiana Jones one.
My first foray into the world of Sam Fuller; whose filmography I cant wait to explore further.
Sits somewhere between All Quiet on the Western Front and Apocalypse Now. Tackles racism both in the military and on the home-front.
No budget? No problem! Just add racial tensions and let simmer in beautifully decorated sets.
#1 of 5 Samuel Fuller film
I have a confession to make... I have never seen a Samuel Fuller film, but I know who he is. He's one of those influential indie filmmaker of the latter half of the 20th century who became a hero for baby boomers and the generation X of filmmakers. He's one of those low budget American directors I just have to get into... John Cassavetes also...
The Steel Helmet is the story of an infantry tasked at holding a temple during the Korean War
As far as low budget war film, this one was pretty great. It had more depth than it should. I also liked the fact that this movie starred a diverse cast…
(6/10 is "Good")
It is so refreshing to see an old war movie that is not racist.
Anyway, this film really gets into the mind of what it feels like to be a soldier on the ground and the cast is generally excellent.
All the films mentioned by name in Kim Newman's definitive encyclopedia of horror films, Nightmare Movies. Well worth a read.…