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 80

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 Reconstruction Writer
2013 A Fuller Life Book
1994 Girls in Prison Writer
1990 Tinikling, or The Madonna and the Dragon Screenplay
1990 Chillers (1 episode)Writer
1989 Street of No Return Writer
1984 Thieves After Dark Writer
1982 White Dog Screenplay
1980 The Big Red One Writer
1978 The Meanest Men in the West Screenplay
1974 The Klansman Screenplay
1973 The Deadly Trackers Story
1970 Scene of the Crime (1 episode)Writer
1969 Shark! Screenplay
1968 Targets Screenplay
1967 The Cape Town Affair Writer
1964 The Naked Kiss Writer
1963 Shock Corridor Writer
1962 The Virginian (1 episode)Writer
1962 Merrill's Marauders Screenplay
1961 Underworld U.S.A. Writer
1959 The Crimson Kimono Writer
1959 Verboten! Writer
1959 Dogface Writer
1957 Run of the Arrow Writer
1957 Forty Guns Screenplay
1957 China Gate Writer
1954 The Command Writer
1954 Hell and High Water Screenplay
1953 Pickup on South Street Screenplay
1952 Park Row Writer
1952 Scandal Sheet Novel
1951 Fixed Bayonets! Screenplay
1951 The Tanks Are Coming Story
1951 The Steel Helmet Writer
1950 The Baron of Arizona Writer
1949 I Shot Jesse James Writer
1949 Shockproof Writer
1945 Gangs of the Waterfront Story
1943 Margin for Error Screenplay
1943 Power of the Press Story
1941 Confirm or Deny Story
1940 Bowery Boy Original Story
1938 Federal Man-Hunt Story
1938 Adventure in Sahara Story
1938 Gangs of New York Screenplay Story
1937 It Happened in Hollywood Screenplay
1936 Hats Off Story Screenplay

Acting

2013 A Fuller Life as Himself
2012 Scene Missing as Director/Actor
2011 Nuits transparentes
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
1987 Midnight Sun Film Festival
1986 Hooray For Holyrood as Himself
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

Directing

The Big Red One: The Reconstruction Director
1990 Tinikling, or The Madonna and the Dragon Director
1990 Chillers (1 episode)Director
1989 Street of No Return Director
1984 Thieves After Dark Director
1982 White Dog Director
1980 The Big Red One Director
1978 The Meanest Men in the West Director
1973 Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street Director
1970 Scene of the Crime (1 episode)Director
1969 Shark! Director
1964 The Naked Kiss Director
1963 Shock Corridor Director
1962 The Virginian (1 episode)Director
1962 Merrill's Marauders Director
1961 The Dick Powell Show (1 episode)Director
1961 Underworld U.S.A. Director
1959 The Crimson Kimono Director
1959 Verboten! Director
1959 Dogface Director
1957 Run of the Arrow Director
1957 Forty Guns Director
1957 China Gate Director
1955 House of Bamboo Director
1954 Hell and High Water Director
1953 Pickup on South Street Director
1952 Park Row Director
1951 Fixed Bayonets! Director
1951 The Steel Helmet Director
1950 The Baron of Arizona Director
1949 I Shot Jesse James Director

Production

1964 The Naked Kiss Producer
1963 Shock Corridor Producer
1961 Underworld U.S.A. Producer
1959 The Crimson Kimono Producer
1959 Dogface Producer
1957 Run of the Arrow Producer
1957 Forty Guns Producer
1957 China Gate Producer
1952 Park Row Producer
1951 The Steel Helmet Producer

Camera

1963 Shock Corridor Director of Photography

Crew

1955 House of Bamboo Additional Dialogue

By signing up for an account on TMDb, you can post directly to Twitter and Facebook.

You need to be logged in to continue. Click here to login or here to sign up.

Global

s focus the search bar
p open profile menu
esc close an open window
? open keyboard shortcut window

On media pages

b go back (or to parent when applicable)
e go to edit page

On TV season pages

(right arrow) go to next season
(left arrow) go to previous season

On TV episode pages

(right arrow) go to next episode
(left arrow) go to previous episode

On all image pages

a open add image window

On all edit pages

t open translation selector
ctrl+ s submit form

On discussion pages

n create new discussion
w toggle watching status
p toggle public/private
c toggle close/open
a open activity
r reply to discussion
l go to last reply
ctrl+ enter submit your message
(right arrow) next page
(left arrow) previous page