Samuel Fuller’s Park Row

Written by Joe D on June 28th, 2013


Finally! I have been waiting for a good copy of this film for a Loooong time. Masters Of Cinema has put out a beautiful presentation of this great film, Fuller’s personal favorite. I love newspaper movies and this is one of the finest examples of the genre. Right up there with Deadline U.S.A. another masterpiece. Fuller spent his own money to make this film and I for one am glad he did, he survived and the resulting work of art is immortal. I really admire artists, especially filmmakers who pay for their own projects and make something great! Francis Ford Coppola has been doing this for his past few films and I say “Bravo”. Fuller was a maverick when they’re weren’t any maverick’s, maybe Jean Pierre Melville but he was in France. He wanted to make this film and Darrel Zanuck said OK, in Technicolor, a musical comedy. “No” screamed Fuller. “The paper is grey, the ink is black, it has to be B&W!” “It won’t make a dime.” Zanuck sneered. Well maybe DZ was right but at least Fuller got to make his film his way and we get to enjoy it, thanks to Masters Of Cinema! There are some amazing tracking shots in this film, and long takes where the camera follows actors from one building, down the street to another building and the scene continues, really cool Orson Welles kind of stuff. It also reminds me of some of the classic Playhouse 90s, long takes , great scripts, great actors. Not an easy way to make a film, it takes vision and preparedness. But you should see it for yourself, Fuller grew up working on newspapers in NYC, they shaped him, this film is his love letter to the newspaper business that took a kid in off the street and turned him into a great storyteller. It’s especially poignant right now, with the state of the Press today, we need to cherish and protect our free press, the barrier between us and Fascism.

Once I borrowed a VHS of this film from Quentin Tarantinio, I watched it but it suddenly stopped before the film was over! I checked the tape, it was a 60 minute VHS ! The movies 84 minutes! Thanks a lot! So now I have my own copy , he can borrow it from me if he wants.