Biography

Samuel Michael Fuller (August 12, 1912 – October 30, 1997) was an American screenwriter, novelist and film director known for low-budget genre movies with controversial themes.

He was born Samuel Michael Fuller in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin Rabinovitch, a Jewish immigrant  from Russia, and Rebecca Baum, a Jewish immigrant from Poland. After immigrating to America, the family's surname was changed from Rabinovitch to "Fuller" possibly by inspiration of a Doctor who arrived in America on the Mayflower.  At the age of 12, he began working in journalism  as a newspaper  copyboy. He became a crime reporter  in New York City at age 17, working for the New York Evening Graphic. He broke the story of Jeanne Eagels' death.  He wrote pulp novels and screenplays  from the mid-1930s onwards. Fuller also became a screenplay  ghostwriter  but would never tell interviewers which screenplays that he ghost-wrote explaining "that's what a ghost writer is for".

During World War II, Fuller joined the United States Army infantry. He was assigned to the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, and saw heavy fighting. He was involved in landings in Africa, Sicily, and Normandy  and also saw action in Belgium and Czechoslovakia. In 1945 he was present at the liberation of the German concentration camp at Falkenau  and shot 16 mm footage which was used later in the documentary Falkenau: The Impossible. For his service, he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart.  Fuller used his wartime experiences as material in his films, especially in The Big Red One (1980), a nickname of the 1st Infantry Division.

After his controversial film "White Dog" was shelved by Paramount pictures, Fuller moved to France, and never directed another American film. Fuller eventually returned to America. He died of natural causes in his California home. In November 1997, the Directors Guild held a three hour memorial in his honor, hosted by Curtis Hanson, his long time friend and co-writer on White Dog. He was survived by his wife Christa and daughter Samantha.

Samuel Michael Fuller (August 12, 1912 – October 30, 1997) was an American screenwriter, novelist and film director known for low-budget genre movies with controversial themes.

He was born Samuel Michael Fuller in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin Rabinovitch, a Jewish immigrant  from Russia, and Rebecca Baum, a Jewish immigrant from Poland. After immigrating to America, the family's surname was changed from Rabinovitch to "Fuller" possibly by inspiration of a Doctor who arrived in America on the Mayflower.  At the age of 12, he began working in journalism  as a newspaper  copyboy. He became a crime reporter  in New York City at age 17, working for the New York Evening Graphic. He broke the story of Jeanne Eagels' death.  He wrote pulp novels and screenplays  from the mid-1930s onwards. Fuller also became a screenplay  ghostwriter  but would never tell interviewers which screenplays that he ghost-wrote explaining "that's what a ghost writer is for".

During World War II, Fuller joined the United States Army infantry. He was assigned to the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, and saw heavy fighting. He was involved in landings in Africa, Sicily, and Normandy  and also saw action in Belgium and Czechoslovakia. In 1945 he was present at the liberation of the German concentration camp at Falkenau  and shot 16 mm footage which was used later in the documentary Falkenau: The Impossible. For his service, he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, and the Purple Heart.  Fuller used his wartime experiences as material in his films, especially in The Big Red One (1980), a nickname of the 1st Infantry Division.

After his controversial film "White Dog" was shelved by Paramount pictures, Fuller moved to France, and never directed another American film. Fuller eventually returned to America. He died of natural causes in his California home. In November 1997, the Directors Guild held a three hour memorial in his honor, hosted by Curtis Hanson, his long time friend and co-writer on White Dog. He was survived by his wife Christa and daughter Samantha.

Personal Info

Known For Writing

Gender -

Known Credits 74

Birthday 1912-08-12

Day of Death 1997-10-30

Place of Birth Worcester, Massachusetts, US

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Sam Fuller

Writing TV ShowsMovies

The Big Red One: The ReconstructionWriter
1994 Girls in PrisonWriter
1990 Tinikling, or The Madonna and the DragonScreenplay
1989 Street of No ReturnWriter
1984 Thieves After DarkWriter
1982 White DogScreenplay
1980 The Big Red OneWriter
1978 The Meanest Men in the WestScreenplay
1974 The KlansmanScreenplay
1973 The Deadly TrackersStory
1970 Scene of the Crime(1 episode)Writer
1969 Shark!Screenplay
1967 The Cape Town AffairWriter
1964 The Naked KissWriter
1963 Shock CorridorWriter
1962 The Virginian(1 episode)Writer
1962 Merrill's MaraudersScreenplay
1961 Underworld U.S.A.Writer
1959 The Crimson KimonoWriter
1959 Verboten!Writer
1959 DogfaceWriter
1957 Run of the ArrowWriter
1957 Forty GunsScreenplay
1957 China GateWriter
1954 The CommandWriter
1954 Hell and High WaterScreenplay
1953 Pickup on South StreetScreenplay
1952 Park RowWriter
1952 Scandal SheetNovel
1951 Fixed Bayonets!Screenplay
1951 The Tanks Are ComingStory
1951 The Steel HelmetWriter
1950 The Baron of ArizonaWriter
1949 I Shot Jesse JamesWriter
1949 ShockproofWriter
1945 Gangs of the WaterfrontStory
1943 Margin for ErrorScreenplay
1943 Power of the PressStory
1941 Confirm or DenyStory
1940 Bowery BoyOriginal Story
1938 Federal Man-HuntStory
1938 Adventure in SaharaStory
1938 Gangs of New YorkScreenplay
1938 Gangs of New YorkStory
1937 It Happened in HollywoodScreenplay
1936 Hats OffStory
1936 Hats OffScreenplay

Directing

The Big Red One: The ReconstructionDirector
1990 Tinikling, or The Madonna and the DragonDirector
1989 Street of No ReturnDirector
1984 Thieves After DarkDirector
1982 White DogDirector
1980 The Big Red OneDirector
1978 The Meanest Men in the WestDirector
1973 Dead Pigeon on Beethoven StreetDirector
1970 Scene of the Crime(1 episode)Director
1969 Shark!Director
1964 The Naked KissDirector
1963 Shock CorridorDirector
1962 The Virginian(1 episode)Director
1962 Merrill's MaraudersDirector
1961 The Dick Powell Show(1 episode)Director
1961 Underworld U.S.A.Director
1959 The Crimson KimonoDirector
1959 Verboten!Director
1959 DogfaceDirector
1957 Run of the ArrowDirector
1957 Forty GunsDirector
1957 China GateDirector
1955 House of BambooDirector
1954 Hell and High WaterDirector
1953 Pickup on South StreetDirector
1952 Park RowDirector
1951 Fixed Bayonets!Director
1951 The Steel HelmetDirector
1950 The Baron of ArizonaDirector
1949 I Shot Jesse JamesDirector

Acting

2013 A Fuller Life as Himself
2009 Carmel
2006 Filmmakers in Action as Himself (archive footage)
2005 The Real Glory: Reconstructing 'The Big Red One' as Himself (archive footage)
2002 The Men Who Made the Movies: Samuel Fuller as Himself
1997 The End of Violence as Louis Bering
1996 The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera as Himself
1994 Tigrero: A Film That Was Never Made as Himself
1993 Anything for John
1993 Golem: The Petrified Garden as Sam
1992 Golem, l'esprit de l'exil as Elimelek
1992 La Vie de Bohème as Gassot
1992 Il corridore della paura as himself
1990 Tinikling, or The Madonna and the Dragon as Chef de bureau Newsweek
1990 Sons as Father
1989 Street of No Return as Police Commissioner
1988 Falkenau, the Impossible as Samuel Fuller
1987 Helsinki Napoli - All Night Long as Boss
1987 A Return to Salem's Lot as Van Meer
1986 A Travelling is a Moral Affair as Himself
1984 Thieves After Dark as Zoltan
1982 Slapstick (Of Another Kind) as Colonel Sharp
1982 Hammett as Old Man in Pool Hall
1982 White Dog as Charlie Felton
1982 The State of Things as Joe
1977 The American Friend as The American
1973 The Young Nurses as Doc Haskell
1971 The Last Movie as Sam
1967 Cinéastes de notre temps: Samuel Fuller, Independent Filmmaker as Interviewee
1965 Pierrot le Fou as Lui-Même

Production

1964 The Naked KissProducer
1963 Shock CorridorProducer
1961 Underworld U.S.A.Producer
1959 The Crimson KimonoProducer
1959 DogfaceProducer
1957 Run of the ArrowProducer
1957 Forty GunsProducer
1957 China GateProducer
1952 Park RowProducer
1951 The Steel HelmetProducer

Camera

1963 Shock CorridorDirector of Photography

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