October 28, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II & IV • Page 17 Maverick director’s work now in new box set by Dennis Seuling “The Samuel Fuller Collection” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) pays tribute to one of the unsung heroes of American cinema. The set contains seven feature films either written or directed by Fuller (19121997), whose cinematic achievements are appreciated more now than when his career was in full swing. Fuller pioneered the use of deep focus, hand-held camera, and subjective photography to enhance dramatic quality. Fuller began as a New York City crime reporter at age 17, and his tabloid-influenced storytelling is reflected in his movies. As filmmaker, he painted a grim portrait of American society and his plots focused on deception or hypocrisy. Fuller served in the army in World War II and was awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Silver Star. His wartime experiences influenced his writing. “Power of the Press” (1943), based on an original story by Fuller, is the tale of a villainous big-city publisher whose quest for power leads him to pay gangsters to act as his henchmen and kill anyone who gets in his path. Lee Tracy, Guy Kibbee, Otto Kruger, Victor Jory, and Gloria Dickson star. “Shockproof” (1949), directed by Douglas Sirk, was co-written by Fuller and Helen Deutsch. A woman (Patricia Knight) sion between them escalates as they both fall for the same woman. The cast includes two actors making their screen debuts, Glenn Corbett and James Shigeta. Victoria Shaw and Anna Lee co-star. “Underworld U.S.A.” (1961), based on a series of “Saturday Evening Post” articles, stars Cliff Robertson (Best Actor Academy Award, “Charly,” 1968) in a tale of vengeance. Robertson’s character feigns loyalty to both a federal crime commission and organized crime to kill the men who murdered his father. Once again, Fuller does triple duty as director, writer, and producer. The other films in the seven-disc collection are “It Happened in Hollywood” (1937), one of Fuller’s first screenwriting credits; “Adventure in Sahara” (1938), a Foreign Legion story; and “Scandal Sheet” (1952), a taut newspaper drama starring Broderick Crawford and Donna Reed. Extras include featurettes on individual films in the collection, with Tim Robbins and directors Martin Scorsese, Curtis Hanson, and Wim The cinematic career of writer/director Samuel Fuller is represented in a new box set. is released from prison on parole after serving only five years of her life sentence for murder. Her tough but compassionate parole officer (Cornel Wilde) tries to keep her from associating with criminal types, including her former lover Harry (John Baragrey), but winds up bending the rules he has pledged to uphold. “The Crimson Kimono” (1959) marks Fuller’s debut as a director. He also wrote the screenplay and produced. This film noir spotlights two L.A. detectives investigating the murder of a stripper. As their search takes them through skid row, Little Tokyo, and other atmospheric neighborhoods, ten- Wenders. “Nothing Like the Holidays” (Anchor Bay Entertainment) finds the far-flung siblings of the Rodriguez family converging at their parents’ home in Chicago to celebrate the season and rejoice in their youngest brother’s safe return from combat overseas. For Jesse (Freddy Rodriguez), coming home has rekindled feelings for an old flame (Melonie Diaz) who cannot seem to forgive him for leaving. His elder sister, Roxanna (Vanessa Ferlito), a struggling actress, has been chasing her Hollywood dreams for years with little to show for it. Eldest brother Mauricio (John Leguizamo) brings home a high-powered executive wife (Debra Messing) and finds himself caught between his mother, Anna (Elizabeth Pena), who wants grandchildren, and his spouse, who wants to concentrate on her career. Adding to the family melodrama, Anna announces that she wants a divorce from their father (Alfred Molina). 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