Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DVD of the Week: "The Steel Helmet" (Samuel Fuller, 1951)

Reading many kind words about Manny Farber this week, none struck me more than Jonathan Rosenbaum's 1993 essay, which he reposted on his website, from the first collection of his work, Placing Movies. If you haven't read the entire essay yet, you should all work your way through it. Not only a great tribute to Farber, it, in typical Rosenbaum fashion, sheds light on films that most people aren't watching. At the time, and possibly still, one of these films is the early Sam Fuller film The Steel Helmet. It may not be my favorite Fuller film (that will probably always be Shock Corridor which was the first one I saw); still, The Steel Helmet was, and still is, a striking and powerful war film with the distinctive Fuller touch.

Instead of writing more about the film here, use that time to absorb Rosenbaum's essay. Then, go out and watch The Steel Helmet. It may be a strange kind of tribute, but I think it is a tribute nonetheless to the man who strongly influenced most of my favorite modern critics and writers.

-James Hansen

1 comment:

Joel Bocko said...

I have been lining up the Eclipse release on one Netflix queue, and this is one I've been looking forward to. I haven't seen any of Fuller's war films except for Big Red One (the short, original 1980 version). What did you think of that one, especially compared to Steel Helmet?