Great movies to watch: 'The Naked Kiss' (1964, Samuel Fuller)

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That is one of Sam Fuller’s all time best films not featuring a war!

Huge Sam Fuller fan. Ever since I saw “The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera” from IFC 20+ years ago I have been devouring the guy’s filmography.

For fellow Fuller Freaks, I strongly would also recommend the reconstruction of The Big Red One from 2004. Not only is it Mark Hamill’s best film where he is not Luke Skywalker or the Joker, it was a close personal one for Fuller himself.


Thanks --appreciate the tip!


Why rent it when you can watch or download it for free from the Internet Archive?


The Naked Kiss was fantastic, except for the children singing. That still gives me nightmares.

I didn’t care for The Big Red One. I get that it’s trying to give a squad-level view of the war, but they end up being a part of every big American battle in the European Theater. So it’s an epic even though it doesn’t want to be, and because of that it’s lack of budget and context just makes it wimpy and frustrating instead of intimate.


Sounds good.

I would also recommend “Pickup on South Street."


thanks for the recommendation.

Back at you with “Out of the Past.” And a bunch of others, yes (like “Night and the City” and “The Killers”), but def that one.


or watch it on YouTube


One to win pub quizzes with:

I also like him as an actor (IMDB has the full list); especially in Stand der Dinge as Joe.

: You know, I take pictures, photographs, but I never really thought in black and white before I saw our rushes. Do you know what I mean? You can see the shape of things.
Joe: Life is in colour, but black and white is more realistic.


I’ll pass on ‘great’ and go with flawed but interesting. Those two adjectives fit a lot of Fullers work (seen all). My top 5 with short whys would be something like:

(5) Verboten! (1959)
When the James Best character looses his cool, jumps on the hood of his army jeep and shouts ‘We didn’t come here as liberators! We came here as conquerors!’ at the gathered german civilians, the moment stays in a cinemaphiles mind. German resistance and rebuilding, with concentration camp footage thrown in - years before Judgment at Nurnberg did it. 8/10

(4) Shock Corridor (1963) Reporter infiltrates an asylum and gets to see a crosscut of America, while trying to hang onto his own sanity. Terrific stuff. 8/10

(3) Run of the Arrow (1957) The Avatar dissing crowd couldn’t name this one. I’ll forgive them. Rod Steiger falls in love with the other side in this rather original western. Well, original at the time… 9/10

(2) Pickup on South Street (1953) Red scare meets film noir. Widmark gives one of his nastiest. 9/10

(1) White Dog (1982) The process of teaching racism ingeniously handled. Sentimental and loud yes, but Fuller wasn’t a man of small emotions. Probably his angriest work and practically the last. 10/10

On another day half of this list would read different: Big Red One is a really ‘been there’ feeling WW2 film (he was as was Lee Marvin), The Steel Helmet and Fixed Bayonets! are tight Korea flicks, House of Bamboo feels like Blade Runner without the scifi, Crimson Kimono gives rare room for an asian american in a starring role etc etc… Fuller is really worth checking out from the first to the last.

His films feel immediate and angry: like someone running up to you on the street, punching you in the face, then running away. Truly one of the great auteurs of the American cinema, and one of the the best examples of termite art we’ll ever run into.

Just do yourselves a favor and skip ‘Shark’ and the german Tatort flick. Hell or High Water is not necessary either, but as a fan of submarine films and Fuller working on a larger budget than usual, I had to check it out.


If you look at the real combat history of the 1st Infantry Division, they WERE a big part of every big American Battle in the European theater. Samuel Fuller was there with them. Robert Carradine’s character is an alter ego of Fuller. Even referencing his pre-war authorship of a pulp thriller novel.


One thing I loved about Steel Helmet and Shock Corridor was how Fuller used a cheesy genre setting to really let things fly in terms of examining what being American means.

Steel Helmet references segregation openly and caustically in 1951! Three of the inmates in Shock Corridor are a cross section of commentary about racism, patriotism and the A-bomb. Only Fuller could have gotten away with it because he was largely under the radar of upturned critical noses.


I second that recommendation. The reconstructed Big Red One is one of the few war films I’ve seen which focuses on the teamwork needed to survive in war. This is Fuller’s war autobiography and he pulls no punches but also shows why and how people become family when they face death together.

Always liked Park Row, his NYC newspaper film, too.


That really is a stunning opener. Thanks for posting it!


I’ve never explored his films or saw The Big Red One. Naked Kiss sounds like a great place to start. Talking the wife into it now.

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The moment when the wig came off gave me a real jump. What a strange detail.


Fuller’s most personal film is PARK ROW, a movie about newspapers when there were thousands of different ones, although his story is about the struggle to get a new one up and running.


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