Curtis Hanson parle de Fuller et du film:
"I didn't go to film school. What I did was I started... In fact instead of going to college, I started writing about movies and taking pictures of the people that made them. I wrote something about Sam Fuller that he liked. I then met him and we really hit it off. This was when I was 19. Over the years we just became friends. He was just a very generous friend and a kind of mentor in a way, if you will.
Then I stared developing my own filmmaking career and as coincidence would have it I was sort of developing this two pronged career. On the one hand, I was trying to direct. On the other hand, I was writing more successfully on bigger projects.
One of these projects I was hired to do was an adaptation of Romain Gary's novella, White Dog. At the time I was writing it Roman Polanski was going to direct it. Then he got into his legal problems and a lot of things happened, but basically the script sat on the shelf for several years at Paramount.
Now, I had talked to Sammy about it at the time I was writing it because he knew Romain Gary and was interested in the story. We had just kind of chatted about it. Then about 5 years later they took it off the shelf and contacted me to see if I would be interested in rewriting it. They wouldn't let me direct it, though. I tried to get it and direct. When that failed rather than rewrite it for somebody else, I said "Well, why don't you get Sam Fuller to direct this?"
There was a strike, oddly enough it was kinda like right now, there was a strike looming and they were in a hurry to make some pictures. Sam, I knew, was not only available, but eager for work. They hired him and then they hired me to work with Sam and write a new script. We needed to write it in 3 weeks because of this potential strike.
So, I ended up in the dream position of collaborating with this guy whose work I had so admired over my entire movie going life who was also a friend of mine. The thing that was unique about it was it was actually the only time Sam ever cowrote anything with anybody. And of course the goal was to produce the script that Sam wanted for his movie because, naturally, this was now a Sam Fuller movie. We used some of the structural elements from my original script, but basically we started over again.
It was a great experience professionally and personally. The unfortunate thing about it is, as you know, the picture came under this cloud of controversy which was totally absurd. It was based on remarks made by people who had never even seen the movie. The picture literally became sort of too hot to handle and Paramount... they didn't release it, they shelved it. Then it was sold to network television and again people made some controversy about it and it was pulled from that showing. Yet, it was released around the world to really tremendous reviews and in the last few years has surfaced intermittently in the United States.
It's tragic. The thing that's so sad about it is it turned out to be the last movie Sam made in Hollywood. Sam fuller, and I say this as somebody, not just a friend of Sam's, but also somewhat of a knowledgeable film fan. I don't think there's any filmmaker who over the course of his career dealt with the racial texture of the United States in as inventive and thought-provoking of a way as Sam Fuller did. Literally, when you start thinking about that aspect of it and go through his movies one after the other, he deals with the ethnic mosaic that is our country. For him to be tarred with a completely absurd charge of racism was not only unfair, but it was ridiculous. The whole point of White Dog is that racism's something that is taught. Of course, the dog is a metaphor, that it can even be taught to man's best friend. So, on the one hand it was a high point of my career, but emotionally it was really disappointing what happened to the movie and to Sam after the fact.
You know, the amazing thing, I have to say one last personal thing about Sam, the amazing thing about it is as disappointed as he was with that and other career setbacks that he had during the length of time I knew him, he never betrayed anger. Disappointment yes, but no bitterness. That was one of the inspiring things about Sammy that no matter how many hardships he faced he would just go back out to his office and his Royal Upright Typewriter and just keep on working on his scripts."