Fixed Bayonets! (1951)

Fixed Bayonets! (1951)

Starring Richard Basehart, Gene Evans, Michael O’Shea, Richard Hylton, Skip Homeier, David Wolfson, Henry Kulky, Craig Hill

Directed by Samuel Fuller

Expectations: Another Sam Fuller, I’m fairly positive I’ll enjoy this, but as it’s his first studio picture I’m worried it may be watered down.


It’s no secret to frequent visitors that Samuel Fuller is one of my most favorite filmmakers. The man was years ahead of his time and his films continue to resonate just as well, if not better, than they did upon release. I approached my viewing of Fixed Bayonets! with slight apprehension though, as I feared that Fuller’s transition to the studio system (his previous three films were all independently produced) would cramp his style a bit. While Fixed Bayonets! does not have the hard-hitting social commentary and racial tension of Fuller’s other 1951 film, The Steel Helmet, it makes up for that with hard-hitting war action and survival drama. This is essentially a smaller, more localized version of Fuller’s epic The Big Red One.

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The Steel Helmet (1951)

The Steel Helmet (1951)

Starring Gene Evans, William Chun, Robert Hutton, Steve Brodie, James Edwards, Richard Loo, Sid Melton, Richard Monahan, Harold Fong, Neyle Morrow, Lynn Stalmaster

Directed by Samuel Fuller

Expectations: Love it, and hoping to get some more out of it the second go-round.


After a long hiatus, I finally return to my Samuel Fuller series. I have seen this film once before, about ten or so years back, and I was simply blown away. It was the second Sam Fuller movie I had seen, but the first that I truly loved. Shock Corridor was the first for those that care, and that one is so out there that I had a hard time wrapping my head around it in any meaningful way the first time around. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t necessarily like it either. The Steel Helmet however, took me by the scruff of my neck and threw me directly into the fire and the passion of Sam Fuller’s best work.

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