Thursday, November 01, 2007

Samuel Fuller, Novelist - Turner Classic Movies

Ed here: Not only does TCM offer the best cable selection of movies, its website is packed with interesting mini-essays. Here's its commentary on Sam Fuller's The Dark Page:

(copyright 2007 TCM)

THE DARK PAGE - Samuel Fuller's 1944 Noir Novel is Available Again!

Coming soon to a bookstore near you, Samuel Fuller's pulp novel The Dark Page is being republished by Kingly Reprieve. As director and writer, Sam Fuller is revered for raw films noir like Pickup on South Street and searing war movies such as The Big Red One, earning a devoted cult of fans that has included filmmakers from Jean-Luc Godard to Quentin Tarantino, and writers from James Ellroy to George Pelecanos. Before movies, however, Fuller was a newspaperman, and a prolific novelist, blasting out books for the disreputable pulp market.

Drawing on his own experience, Fuller sets this story against the vividly rendered world of Manhattan’s ravenous tabloid newspaper industry. The Dark Page is the tale of Carl Chapman, a powerful city editor turned murderer, who finds himself hunted through the pages of his own paper by the young star crime reporter he personally groomed.

First published in 1944, this fantastically readable murder story has been unavailable for decades, and never published in the UK before. A bestseller in its day – when it was awarded “Best Psychological Novel of 1944” - the novel’s page turning pace, hardboiled stance, cynical wit and grit remain surprising, as do the cinematic eye and powerhouse story-telling of its author. A gripping noir snapshot of its era, with still-pertinent observations on the workings of the tabloid press, it is one of the great rediscoveries of the year.

Director Wim Wenders in his introduction to this edition wrote: "For Sam Fuller the world condensed into stories. That’s what he saw wherever he looked. Whatever reality, incident, fact or event presented itself, he saw it as narrative material. Rereading The Dark Page I hear Sam’s voice, very clearly, as if he was talking to me, intense, excited, passionate, honest. I never met anybody else who would actually talk the same way he would write, let alone anybody who would also make movies with that very same impetus and attitude. One of the great movie directors of the 20th century, sure. But most certainly its greatest storyteller. In my book, at least."


Anonymous said...

Thanks. I'll have to track down a copy of "The Dark Page" because I've always liked the movie version of it: "Scandal Sheet," with Broderick Crawford, John Derek and Donna Reed. Crawford is the editor/killer (surprise!). Perhaps my favorite scene (I worked on a newspaper for 30 years) comes near the end, when the publisher doesn't understand Crawford's mixed reaction to the news that coverage of the murder case has caused the paper's circulation to jump sky high....

Stephen D. Rogers said...

I just finished reading this re-issue. It's a great story in a great package.

Peter Rozovsky said...

One grows nostralgic for a time when newspapers held the imagination of the public!
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Gonzalo B said...

There's also a newly released box set of Fuller's earlier films. We mention it briefly on our latest update at Saddlebums: