“That night Carl Chapman touched greatness.
Tomorrow the headline would read: 12,000 MADE HAPPY.
Forty-eight booths surrounded the dance floor in Madison Square Garden, a pennant bearing the name of a state over each.
The place was jammed.”
So begins The Dark Page, copyright 1944 by Samuel Michael Fuller, and available in a new paperback edition (with an introduction by Wim Wenders) as of this coming weekend.
Sam Fuller in print is like Fuller on film – or Fuller in conversation – hard-hitting, clear, direct, going straight for the jugular.
This is the book we see a soldier reading in Fuller’s autobiographical WWII epic, The Big Red One. Another young soldier played by Robert Carradine, Fuller’s surrogate in the film, turns to the first soldier and says, “You like that book? (Pause.) I wrote it!”
This same bestselling book, as noir as any of Fuller’s films, was the basis for Phil Karlson’s 1952 film, Scandal Sheet, starring Broderick Crawford.
It’ll be available through the usual sources, or you can order it directly from the publisher here.
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If you appreciate Fuller’s distinctive voice, on film or in print, I also highly recommend his autobiography, The Third Face, edited by his wife, Christa Fuller, from god-knows-how-many hours of recorded dictation. It’s not just for film buffs. My mother – who was certainly not what you would call a film buff – couldn’t put it down.