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A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting, and Filmmaking

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  173 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
(Applause Books). Winner of Best Non-Fiction for 2002 Award from the Los Angeles Times Book Review! Samuel Fuller was one of the most prolific and independent writer-director-producers in Hollywood. His 29 tough, gritty films made from 1949 to 1989 set out to capture the truth of war, racism and human frailties, and incorporate some of his own experiences. His film Park Ro ...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Applause Theatre & Cinema Book Publishers (first published 2002)
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Aug 19, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it
You know, I loved this book, and remembered loving Fuller's lurid "Naked Kiss"... but after reading this book I went on a Fuller film binge, and... well, he made a lot of terrible movies, there is no getting around that. But what is amazing about him is that he always fought to make HIS movies, even giving up a successful hollywood career to do so. The guy is all integrity, and was always true to his pulpy genius, sticking to his "ballsy yarns".

But watch his 400 Guns and Anthony Mann's The Furi
Nathan Rabin
Dec 24, 2008 Nathan Rabin rated it it was amazing
It's not just a great book. It's a veritable how-to guide on how to be a great American
Jeremy Good
Nov 29, 2010 Jeremy Good rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 08, 2012 Djll rated it liked it
Shelves: movies
Sam Fuller is the node where Damon Runyon and John Huston -- or do I mean Jim Thompson and Roger Corman? -- meet. Full of two-fisted tales, this fast-reading book is memorable for the vivid picture of the heyday of "the newspaperman" and the matter-of-fact chronicle of campaign after nightmarish campaign of his Army unit through Europe in WW2, which encompassed the North African war, the invasion of Sicily and D-day, not to mention the Battle of the Bulge and subsequent liberation of the Falkena ...more
Ken French
Jun 15, 2012 Ken French rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
One of the best filmmaker memoirs ever. Fuller led a very interesting life and was a brilliant director.
Jun 27, 2012 Dwain rated it really liked it
Shelves: bio
Sam Fuller was a writer, warrior, and an auteur, and arguably equally good at each.

He begins with the formative years, and moves through to later life with the sort of nostalgia that makes history personal. It’s the story of an impassioned individual, driven by an unbridled will to accomplish the American Dream (or whatever success story), and because we already know that he becomes a heralded film director, the fun about the story is in the “how.” You want to know what events lead him up to his
Brian DiMattia
Jun 23, 2009 Brian DiMattia rated it it was amazing
I only learned about Fuller in the late 90s after seeing the IFC documentary "The Typewriter, The Rifle and the Movie Camera," but I was so amazed by what I saw that I had to know more. Fuller was a great director, but I didn't realize that he lived an incredible life.

*One of the youngest crime beat reporters in the history of New York.
*Rode the rails during the great depression writing stories of the hobos that moved from town to town.
*Became a screen writer and novelist.
*Fought through Sicily
Conrad Wesselhoeft
Jun 06, 2011 Conrad Wesselhoeft rated it it was amazing
"A Third Face" is one of the great crusty, caustic memoirs in the Hollywood canon.

Fuller was an old-school cigar smoker of pithy phrase, maverick inclination, and artistic courage. As a crime reporter in New York in the 20s, as a hobo in the 30s, as a GI in World War II, as a novelist, screenwriter and director of noir and war movies ("Pickup on South Street," "House of Bamboo," "The Big Red One"), Fuller was a force of nature, a feisty realist who knew how to tell a story. The photo on the bac
May 09, 2014 Kevin rated it it was amazing
I've read a lot of biographies over the years, but this is absolutely one of the very best. The writer director of PICK UP ON SOUTH STREET, SHOCK CORRIDOR, THE NAKED KISS, THE BIG RED ONE, STEEL HELMET and WHITE DOG lead an action-packed life and there are no lulls in this rich, exciting and rewarding memoir.

In 2013, Fuller's daughter Samantha Fuller directed a number of Sam's friends, admirers and former co-stars reading sections of this memoir in the documentary A FULLER LIFE. Her mother and F
Sep 10, 2011 Ben rated it it was amazing
Damn, what a great read. Fuller grabs you from the get-go and doesn't let up until the final page.

The book starts with descriptions of Fuller's impoverished but mostly happy childhood, then his early years as a newsboy who worked his way up to teenage cub reporter and, thanks to his mentor Gene Fowler, wound up hanging out in speakeasies with Ring Lardner and Damon Runyon.

Here's a passage that begins chapter 8, "Westward Ho": "What reporter didn't get a hard-on from New York, with all its round
Wilson Lanue
May 28, 2013 Wilson Lanue rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, mil, wwii
Sam Fuller was a fascinating character and a talented storyteller. These are his memories, from working as a reporter to fighting Nazis and, finally, making movies as the original indie writer/director.

It's imperfect - a date misremembered here, a superlative that doesn't belong there - but this hardly detracts from its beauty. If you are interested in WWII combat, read this as a companion piece to Up Front and With the Old Breed - and for pete's sake watch the restored version of Fuller's
Glen Go
Aug 26, 2010 Glen Go rated it really liked it
Why isn’t there a movie about Samuel Fuller? Any of his careers would have been enough for one life: journalist, novelist, screenwriter, WW II infantryman and film director. He also managed the feat of irking J. Edgar Hoover and the NAACP almost simultaneously. This look at the profane and blunt Fuller isn’t a how-to book, but more a motivational yarn about pursuing your dreams. The book, like Fuller’s films, is as subtle as a bust in the chops. His advice: “. . .persist with all your heart and ...more
Tom Fuchs
Aug 04, 2011 Tom Fuchs rated it it was amazing
Downright spectacular. Fuller writes his memoir with the same spare language and focus on telling a compelling yarn that make his movies feel so timeless and authentic. There's a truly Zeligesque amount of bumping shoulders with historical figures throughout this, the key difference being that Fuller always was proactively seeking out adventure and life experience throughout his career. It's a six hundred page book and I was profoundly sad that it had to end. Loved every minute of it. Harrowing, ...more
Nov 07, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I like autobiographies quite a bit and this was the best one i have read ever. Sam Fuller, besides directing two films i love- "White Dog" & "the Big Red 1" was also a master racountuer and learned the newspaper trade at the feet of William randolph Hearst.

Succesful auther and director who joined the Army in his 30's when WWII broke out. The movie Big Red 1 is based on his time in the first infartry division. A lot of what happens in the movie is in this book as being factual.

One of the fe
Jul 30, 2008 Mitch rated it it was amazing
He started as a young reporter in NY (shown the ropes by John Huston's Mother), was a ground troop in seemingly all the most memorable WW2 battles, & then became a maverick film director whose best works surprise & shock more than 50 years later. His personality & talent come through clear on every page - if you've been fortunate enough to enjoy his films, you'll love his story.
Todd Woods
Jan 02, 2015 Todd Woods rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who likes film
Recommended to Todd by: Found used.
Shelves: 2015
Awesome read. He's a fascinating character. It shed a light more light on my thoughts about how movies are made and what a writer/director goes through to keep his on personal vision.

The book has me starting to hunt down and watch Sam's lesser known films.
Justin Helfrich
Dec 28, 2007 Justin Helfrich rated it liked it
This is an instruction book for life: How to be a reporter, writer, filmaker, soldier, whatever. In every picture herein the author has a cigar in his mouth:
"This is not a film. It's a hard-hitting, war melodrama!"
Drew Nevis
Oct 17, 2011 Drew Nevis rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
From the intro, I was hooked! I'm not that far in, but I am an even bigger fan of Fuller as a human being and even more so as an artist.
Apr 21, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing
Can't believe I've never read this. Sort of embarrassed. Don't judge me (if you thought at all of judging me).
May 12, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Samuel Fuller is very interesting. I actually enjoyed and learned more from his war stories than anything he wrote about filmmaking, though those tales were interesting, too.
Sep 26, 2008 Ellen added it
Shelves: want-to-read
Recommended by AVQ&A.
Jan 03, 2010 Brandon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Sam Fuller fans, of course
Yay, I read one book this year.

This is the greatest film-related book and the greatest autobiography I've ever read, and Sam is one of the greatest people of the 20th century.

Jan 24, 2011 RJ rated it it was amazing
Amazing, amazing, amazing. Just read it. Imagine if The Kid Stays In the Picture had been written by someone who had real life experience and was not self-delusional.
Sean rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2010
Paul Godard
Paul Godard rated it really liked it
Jun 25, 2009
Phillip rated it liked it
Sep 02, 2009
Rj McHatton
Rj McHatton rated it it was amazing
Sep 29, 2015
TJ Westerfield
TJ Westerfield rated it really liked it
Nov 29, 2015
Vincent Martini
Vincent Martini rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2014
Derrick rated it it was amazing
Dec 11, 2008
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Samuel Michael Fuller was an American film director, screenwriter and novelist. Many of his films are remembered for their controversial topics and presentations. Samuel Fuller served as an infantryman in World War II with the famed U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division. He fought in North Africa, Sicily, France, and Germany. The movie The Big Red One is considered to be semi-autobiographical.
More about Samuel Fuller...

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