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Black Fury (1935)

 -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  18 May 1935 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 430 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 11 critic

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

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Black Fury (1935)

Black Fury (1935) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Joe Radek
Karen Morley ...
Anna Novak
William Gargan ...
Slim
...
McGee
...
Mike (as John T. Qualen)
J. Carrol Naish ...
Steve (as J. Carroll Naish)
Vince Barnett ...
Kubanda
Tully Marshall ...
Poole
Henry O'Neill ...
Hendricks
Joseph Crehan ...
Farrell (as Joe Crehan)
...
Mrs. Mary Novak
Sara Haden ...
Sophie Shemanski (as Sarah Haden)
Willard Robertson ...
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.

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

18 May 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Fury  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though it received no official Oscar nominations, the Academy permitted write-in candidates this year and when the voting order was announced it turned out that Paul Muni had come in second in the balloting, narrowly behind winner Victor McLaglen but ahead of any of the other nominated actors. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Brothers Warner (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Why Do I Dream Those Dreams?
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on piano in bar during scene where men challenge Radek
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User Reviews

How Green Was My Screenplay
10 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

Paul Muni, David Thomson once wrote, was the '30s' idea of a great actor: He never looked the same twice. Here he's a hail-fellow-well-met Eastern European immigrant coal miner in a dreary Pennsylvania burg, deceived by union busters and weighed down by a ten-ton accent. Indeed the screenplay seldom rises above a fifth-grade literacy level, the better to illustrate the goodheartedness of these poor but honest laborers. But five minutes of Muni, and you've seen the whole performance -- a Zorba-the-miner "life force" who yells all his lines and sounds unfortunately like Steve Martin's wild-and-crazy-guy character from Saturday Night Live in the '70s.

Warners does come up with a convincingly grimy set and a capable stock-company supporting cast, but the dramaturgy is connect-the-dots. One miner shouts and sways the whole crowd, then another, then another -- what a gullible bunch this must be. The evil cops and management figures are so absurdly evil that nuance is lost. The third act does whip up to an exciting blow-up-the-mine climax, but then it's resolved in headline montages, as if Warners suddenly ran out of money, or film. And Michael Curtiz -- I didn't think this fine director was capable of this -- stages the crowd scenes clumsily, shifting point of view confusingly and slapping the mise-en-scene together hard, with loud music. Certainly the studio is on the side of the angels, arguing for a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, and as a '30s sociological curio the movie is not without interest. But Muni's monotonous bluster and an elementary script combine to create a cinematic cave-in.


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