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Fury (1936)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 29 May 1936 (USA)
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When a wrongly accused prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to frame the mob for his murder.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
District Attorney
...
Kirby Dawson
Edward Ellis ...
Sheriff
...
'Bugs' Meyers
...
Charlie
George Walcott ...
Tom
Arthur Stone ...
Durkin
Morgan Wallace ...
Fred Garrett
George Chandler ...
Milton Jackson
Roger Gray ...
Stranger
...
Vickery
Howard C. Hickman ...
Governor (as Howard Hickman)
Jonathan Hale ...
Defense Attorney
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Storyline

Based on the story "Mob Rule" by Norman Krasna. Joe Wilson and Katherine Grant are in love, but he doesn't have enough money for them to get married. So Katherine moves across the country to make money. But things go disastrously wrong for Joe when he stops in a small town and is mistaken for a wanted murderer. Through the course of the movie, Fritz Lang shows us how a decent and once civilized man can become a ruthless and bitter man. Written by Andre'a M. Thompson <athompso@ziggy.st.hmc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

TWO LOVERS...VICTIMS OF MOB VIOLENCE! (original 1936 window card poster)


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mob Rule  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Script was based upon the 1933 kidnapping and murder of Brooke Hart, the son of the owner of Hart's Department Store in San Jose, California. The two kidnapping suspects were pulled from jail by a group of vigilantes, who dragged them across the street to St. James Park and lynched both of them. See more »

Goofs

During a montage that shows the passing of several days, nm0796662 is wearing the same dress the entire time. See more »

Quotes

District Attorney: [after several witnesses had lied on the stand] I wonder if I haven't been calling the defense witnesses by mistake.
See more »

Connections

References Popeye the Sailor (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Popeye the Sheriff Man
(uncredited)
One line sung by one of the mob to the tune of "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man" (1933)
Words and Music by Samuel Lerner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dated but still powerful drama
26 April 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Fritz Lang's first US film is arguably the best he made there,containing elements of his most celebrated film,M,though this time here the mentality of mob violence does not have a genuinely evil monster (so brilliantly portrayed in M by Peter Lorre) as it's point of retribution,but a decent,ordinary man in the shape of an equally superb Spencer Tracy.The first reel or so of FURY is somewhat dull,with Tracy and his fiancé Sylvia Sidney struggling to raise money for their wedding in what seems a straight-forward domestic story.But the film soon gets into gear when Tracy is mistaken for a kidnapper and held in a small town jail,and is lynched by most of the town's population,led by waster and bad boy Bruce Cabot.Or it seems he is lynched......Tracy somehow escapes,and totally hardened by the experience,is determined on exacting revenge against the perpetrators.

The film wasn't a particular critical or box-office triumph in it's day,maybe because it told some unpalatable truths in aspects of American life at the time.While not necessarily Hollywood's best-loved or most effective leading man,Tracy was arguably it's best actor from a technical viewpoint,and his performance is outstanding here.His transformation from an innocuous everyman to vicious criminal is totally convincing.After he makes his way back home to his brother's apartment,his speech detailing his ordeal and his thirst for vengeance is a quite brilliant piece of screen acting.Tracy had this and other memorable big screen monologues to his credit in a distinguished career (watch other fine examples in such films as STANLEY AND LIVINGSTONE,STATE OF THE UNION,INHERIT THE WIND and GUESS WHO'S COMING HOME TO DINNER),and there were few,if any,that could equal him in similar circumstances.There are no forced histrionics,no exaggerated hand or facial gestures,no bellowing out of words,just a careful and believable building up of rage until he explodes on the final word he comes to.......,DEATH!

Aside from Tracy's excellence,the film is at it's most effective in the setting up and brief aftermath of the lynching itself.Lang's penchant for Germanic expressionism and moody lighting is very effective here,especially in the scene where the converging of the mob on the police station is represented by a subjective tracking shot,a remarkably powerful scene which is the film's highpoint.

The film goes slightly downhill in the courtroom sequence,which although has interesting elements (the use of newsreel footage as evidence),tends to get over-melodramatic and obviously contrived(Tracy's peanut habit and word misspelling are not too convincing plot devices),and Lang was reportedly very opposed to the somewhat sappy ending tagged on by MGM(as Hollywood's moral code demanded in the 30's).That aside,fine support performances(Ms Sidney,Walter Brennan,Edward Ellis,Walter Abel,etc.),a good musical score(Franz Waxman),stylish visuals(Joesph Ruttenberg)and bravura direction by Lang still make FURY,despite dated elements,a powerful and effective essay on lynch mob rule seven decades later,which most of it's contemporaries can certainly not boast.

RATING:7 and a half out of 10


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