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Desert Fury (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 August 1947 (USA)
The daughter of a Nevada casino owner gets involved with a racketeer, despite everyone's efforts to separate them.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Complete credited cast:
Tom Hanson
Johnny Ryan
Fritzi Haller
Kristine Miller ...
Claire Lindquist
Judge Berle Lindquist
Sheriff Pat Johnson
Mrs. Lindquist
Anna Camargo ...


Fritzi Haller is a powerful casino owner in Chuckawalla, Nevada. Her daughter Paula (having quit school) returns at the same time as racketeer Eddie Bendix, who left under suspicion of murdering his wife. Paula and Eddie become involved; each for their own reasons, Fritzi, Paula's old beau Tom, and Eddie's pal Johnny try to break up the relationship. Then Eddie's past catches up with him in an unexpected way. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two men wanted her love ... The third wanted her life !


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 August 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desert Town  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Wendell Corey. See more »


At 40 minutes in, when Tom Hanson (Burt Lancaster) pulls up to where Paula Haller (Lizabeth Scott) is and parks, the car is at an angle to the walk, but then all of a sudden it is parallel with the walk. See more »


Featured in The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Freighted Technicolor noir is one of a kind -- a real lulu
27 August 2001 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Back in the forties, when movies touched on matters not yet admissible in "polite" society, they resorted to codes which supposedly floated over the heads of most of the audience while alerting those in the know to just what was up. Probably no film of the decade was so freighted with innuendo as the oddly obscure Desert Fury, set in a small gambling oasis called Chuckawalla somewhere in the California desert. Proprietress of the Purple Sage saloon and casino is the astonishing Mary Astor, in slacks and sporting a cigarette holder; into town drives her handful-of-a-daughter, Lizabeth Scott, looking, in Technicolor, like 20-million bucks. But listen to the dialogue between them, which suggests an older Lesbian and her young, restless companion (one can only wonder if A.I. Bezzerides' original script made this relationship explicit). Even more blatant are John Hodiak as a gangster and Wendell Corey as his insanely jealous torpedo. Add Burt Lancaster as the town sheriff, stir, and sit back. Both Lancaster and (surprisingly) Hodiak fall for Scott. It seems, however, that Hodiak not only has a past with Astor, but had a wife who died under suspicious circumstances. The desert sun heats these ingredients up to a hard boil, with face-slappings aplenty and empurpled exchanges. Don't pass up this hothouse melodrama, chock full of creepily exotic blooms, if it comes your way; it's a remarkable movie.

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