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Black Fury (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 18 May 1935 (USA)
An immigrant coal miner finds himself in the middle of a bitter labor dispute between the workers and the mine owners.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Joe Radek
...
Anna Novak
...
Slim
...
McGee
...
Mike (as John T. Qualen)
...
Steve (as J. Carroll Naish)
...
Kubanda
...
Poole
...
Hendricks
...
Farrell (as Joe Crehan)
...
Mrs. Mary Novak
...
Sophie Shemanski (as Sarah Haden)
...
Mr. J.J. Welsh
Effie Ellsler ...
Bubitschka
Wade Boteler ...
Mulligan
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Storyline

An immigrant coal miner finds himself in the middle of a bitter labor dispute between the workers and the mine owners.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 May 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Czarna furia  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production title "Black Hell". See more »

Goofs

The orchestra at the dance, near the beginning of the film, are miming extremely unconvincingly. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Porky's Party (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Young and Healthy
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on piano in bar during police celebration scene
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Trouble in the mines...trouble with Muni's accent and overacting...
7 March 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

BLACK FURY could have been a straightforward story of miners being exploited by greedy bosses and directed by Michael Curtiz, that's what it ought to be. But at its centerpiece is the character of PAUL MUNI as a cheerful "honkie" coal miner with an accent thick enough to cut with a knife and chewing all the scenery in sight. Performances around him are uniformly good under Curtiz' strong direction, but he lets Muni get away with the some of the wildest bits of overacting he's ever done.

If you can sit through this one without cringing at Muni's overbaked job of acting, you may be able to watch the film more objectively than I did. Did I mention that the story is strictly on the depressing side? For starters, Muni's sweetheart (KAREN MORLEY) runs off to Pittsburgh with another man, police officer WILLIAM GARGAN, turning Muni's world upside down when he planned on marriage.

Disgruntled miners are upset by union bosses and the plot thickens as one of the miners (J. CARROLL NAISH) sets up Muni and his friends for trouble as he collaborates with the union leaders. Muni doesn't know he's being used as a scapegoat for the union. He only realizes it after Croner (Naish) leaves town with Muni held responsible for the resulting mess and riots. Every plot turn from then on plunges the story into darker territory with Muni caught up in a skirmish with police that causes the death of his best friend.

For the finale, Muni gets out of a hospital bed to bring about an explosive climax at the mine with girlfriend Morley returning to redeem herself in his eyes.

Summing up: Melodramatic mess despite strong direction by Curtiz, hampered by Muni's overwrought performance which some commentators have mistaken for good acting.


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