Street of No Return


1h 30m 1989

Brief Synopsis

A rock star-turned-bum, his vocal chords severed at the height of his career for the love of a woman, reclaims his forgotten past after viewing a music video.

Film Details

Also Known As
Sans espoir de retour, Strada Senza Ritorno
Release Date
1989
Production Company
Fr3 Films Productions
Distribution Company
Bac Films Distribution; Medusa Film
Location
Lisbon, Portugal

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m

Synopsis

A rock star-turned-bum, his vocal chords severed at the height of his career for the love of a woman, reclaims his forgotten past after viewing a music video.

Film Details

Also Known As
Sans espoir de retour, Strada Senza Ritorno
Release Date
1989
Production Company
Fr3 Films Productions
Distribution Company
Bac Films Distribution; Medusa Film
Location
Lisbon, Portugal

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m

Articles

Sam Fuller's Final Film - Street of No Return


Officially noted as Sam Fuller's final theatrical feature, Street of No Return (1989) has been a difficult movie to track down for most Fuller fans. Now, thanks to Fantoma Films, it is available on DVD in a beautiful new digital widescreen transfer and includes a number of significant extras including a 33 minute behind the scenes documentary on the making of Street of No Return.

After his frustrating experience on White Dog (1982), which was reedited against his wishes by the studio, Fuller turned his back on Hollywood and looked for alternate filmmaking opportunities in Europe. There he was able to raise financing for his 1984 suspense thriller Thieves After Dark starring Bobby Di Cicco, an actor who previously worked with Fuller on The Big Red One (1980). Unfortunately, it never attracted an American distributor and after another five years of trying to find investors for his next project, Fuller finally bounced back with Street of No Return, based on the pulp novel by David Goodis, the author of Dark Passage (which became a Humphrey Bogart-Lauren Bacall picture in 1947) and Down There (the basis for Francois Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player, [1960]). It too was a victim of poor distribution and Fuller never made another feature film.

Like Fuller, David Goodis enjoyed a much greater prestige in Europe than the U.S. where his writings weren't viewed as anything more than cheap crime novels. Since then, writers like Jim Thompson and other pulp fiction authors have become cultural icons in the last two decades and Goodis is now considered one of the major literary influences in noir literature. Street of No Return is an excellent example of his lurid back-street world view and Sam Fuller was the ideal director to capture its grim reality on film. Interestingly enough, Fuller also invests Goodis' tale with moments of offbeat humor and an atypical optimistic ending. Nevertheless, you'll notice stylistic and thematic connections to Fuller's earlier, Hollywood produced noirs like Underworld, USA (1961).

In Street of No Return, Keith Carradine plays a former pop music star now reduced to a homeless amnesiac known as "Michael." After he suffers a blow to his head during a race riot, bits and pieces of his past life coming flooding back to him. We see Michael at the height of his success when he meets Celia, an exotic nightclub dancer. They embark on a passionate relationship but it ends in a violent confrontation with Celia's gangster boyfriend; Michael has his throat cut and is left for dead. Of course, the story doesn't end there. After all, this is a tale of revenge and redemption.

Despite its modest budget, Street of No Return sports an impressive array of talent on both sides of the camera. Besides Carradine in the leading role of Michael, Bill Duke (as the investigating cop) and Andrea Ferreol (as Carradine's manager) are familiar faces in the international cast. The often striking cinematography is by Pierre-William Glenn who filmed Truffaut's Day for Night (1973); here he transforms the city of Lisbon, Portugal into a strangely anonymous ghost town. A word of warning, however, is in order for those viewers who have never seen a Sam Fuller movie. Street of No Return is probably not the best place to begin your education. To fully appreciate it, you should start with one of Sam's more accessible films like Forty Guns (1957) or Pickup on South Street (1953) because Street of No Return is more like a summation of the director's themes and obsessions. As Lee Server so succinctly put it in the DVD liner notes, Street of No Return is like "a hammer blow right between the eyes....Fuller creates a deliriously overcooked stew of l'amour fou, torture, flashbacks, gunfights, amnesia, alcoholism, race war and rock music." Well, the rock music part is questionable at best. Even though Carradine is made up and costumed to look like some David-Bowie styled crooner during his stage appearances, his music is much closer to folk rock and it's very bad indeed (and yes folks, Fuller is the author of those song lyrics).

Street of No Return is presented in a 1.78:1 format and includes some nifty disk extras like an audio commentary by Carradine, the aforementioned 33 minute "making of" documentary with Fuller holding court, the original theatrical trailer, a text interview with the director and the soundtrack remixed in Dolby Digital 5.1. Street of No Return, visit Fantoma. To order Street of No Return, go to Movies Unlimited.

by Jeff Stafford
Sam Fuller's Final Film - Street Of No Return

Sam Fuller's Final Film - Street of No Return

Officially noted as Sam Fuller's final theatrical feature, Street of No Return (1989) has been a difficult movie to track down for most Fuller fans. Now, thanks to Fantoma Films, it is available on DVD in a beautiful new digital widescreen transfer and includes a number of significant extras including a 33 minute behind the scenes documentary on the making of Street of No Return. After his frustrating experience on White Dog (1982), which was reedited against his wishes by the studio, Fuller turned his back on Hollywood and looked for alternate filmmaking opportunities in Europe. There he was able to raise financing for his 1984 suspense thriller Thieves After Dark starring Bobby Di Cicco, an actor who previously worked with Fuller on The Big Red One (1980). Unfortunately, it never attracted an American distributor and after another five years of trying to find investors for his next project, Fuller finally bounced back with Street of No Return, based on the pulp novel by David Goodis, the author of Dark Passage (which became a Humphrey Bogart-Lauren Bacall picture in 1947) and Down There (the basis for Francois Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player, [1960]). It too was a victim of poor distribution and Fuller never made another feature film. Like Fuller, David Goodis enjoyed a much greater prestige in Europe than the U.S. where his writings weren't viewed as anything more than cheap crime novels. Since then, writers like Jim Thompson and other pulp fiction authors have become cultural icons in the last two decades and Goodis is now considered one of the major literary influences in noir literature. Street of No Return is an excellent example of his lurid back-street world view and Sam Fuller was the ideal director to capture its grim reality on film. Interestingly enough, Fuller also invests Goodis' tale with moments of offbeat humor and an atypical optimistic ending. Nevertheless, you'll notice stylistic and thematic connections to Fuller's earlier, Hollywood produced noirs like Underworld, USA (1961). In Street of No Return, Keith Carradine plays a former pop music star now reduced to a homeless amnesiac known as "Michael." After he suffers a blow to his head during a race riot, bits and pieces of his past life coming flooding back to him. We see Michael at the height of his success when he meets Celia, an exotic nightclub dancer. They embark on a passionate relationship but it ends in a violent confrontation with Celia's gangster boyfriend; Michael has his throat cut and is left for dead. Of course, the story doesn't end there. After all, this is a tale of revenge and redemption. Despite its modest budget, Street of No Return sports an impressive array of talent on both sides of the camera. Besides Carradine in the leading role of Michael, Bill Duke (as the investigating cop) and Andrea Ferreol (as Carradine's manager) are familiar faces in the international cast. The often striking cinematography is by Pierre-William Glenn who filmed Truffaut's Day for Night (1973); here he transforms the city of Lisbon, Portugal into a strangely anonymous ghost town. A word of warning, however, is in order for those viewers who have never seen a Sam Fuller movie. Street of No Return is probably not the best place to begin your education. To fully appreciate it, you should start with one of Sam's more accessible films like Forty Guns (1957) or Pickup on South Street (1953) because Street of No Return is more like a summation of the director's themes and obsessions. As Lee Server so succinctly put it in the DVD liner notes, Street of No Return is like "a hammer blow right between the eyes....Fuller creates a deliriously overcooked stew of l'amour fou, torture, flashbacks, gunfights, amnesia, alcoholism, race war and rock music." Well, the rock music part is questionable at best. Even though Carradine is made up and costumed to look like some David-Bowie styled crooner during his stage appearances, his music is much closer to folk rock and it's very bad indeed (and yes folks, Fuller is the author of those song lyrics). Street of No Return is presented in a 1.78:1 format and includes some nifty disk extras like an audio commentary by Carradine, the aforementioned 33 minute "making of" documentary with Fuller holding court, the original theatrical trailer, a text interview with the director and the soundtrack remixed in Dolby Digital 5.1. Street of No Return, visit Fantoma. To order Street of No Return, go to Movies Unlimited. by Jeff Stafford

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1989

Released in United States August 2, 1991

Released in United States 1989

Released in United States May 17, 1989

Released in United States September 1989

Shown at Munich Film Festival (International Program) June 24 - July 2, 1989.

Shown at Cannes Film Festival (market) May 17, 1989.

Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals September 13 & 15, 1989.

Began shooting April 18, 1988.

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1989

Released in United States August 2, 1991 (New York City; Film Forum; Sam Fuller Retrospective)

Released in United States 1989 (Shown at Munich Film Festival (International Program) June 24 - July 2, 1989.)

Released in United States May 17, 1989 (Shown at Cannes Film Festival (market) May 17, 1989.)

Released in United States September 1989 (Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals September 13 & 15, 1989.)