A towering figure in the history of independent film, director Samuel Fuller unleashed his deeply personal, highly stylized vision of society teetering between greatness and disaster in such polarizing films as "The Steel Helmet" (1951), "Pickup on South Street" (1953), "Shock Corridor" (1963), "The Naked Kiss" (1964) and "The Big Red One" (1980). A former crime reporter who later endured some of the most brutal combat during World War II, Fuller served as a screenwriter before emerging as a director in 1950. His films challenged accepted notions of liberty, honor and patriotism through furiously paced, visually assaultive genre pictures informed by his experiences in the newsroom and on the battlefield. Fuller's heroes were flawed but clung to a code of ethics that clashed with political and social organizations, a status that Fuller himself embodied in his frequent battles with producers to deliver his films as he saw them to the screen. He fell out of fashion after "Shock Corridor" and "The Naked Kiss," a pair of savage indictments of the hypocrisy he felt was at the core of American society, and spent the next three decades fighting to complete films while funding his efforts through acting roles. In the years preceding his death in 1997, Fuller was transformed from industry pariah to patron saint of the independent film movement. A host of likeminded directors, including Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, would acknowledge the debt he paid throughout his career to allow their unique perspectives to take root on screen.