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The Sound of Fury (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 12 December 1950 (USA)
A man who is down on his luck falls in with a criminal.

Director:

(as Cyril Endfield)

Writers:

(written for the screen by), (novel)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Howard Tyler
Kathleen Ryan ...
Judy Tyler
...
Gil Stanton
...
Jerry Slocum
Katherine Locke ...
Hazel
...
Velma
Art Smith ...
Hal Clendenning
Renzo Cesana ...
Dr. Simone
Irene Vernon ...
Helen Stanton
Cliff Clark ...
Sheriff Demig
...
Mr. Yaeger
Donald Smelick ...
Tommy Tyler
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Storyline

The unemployed Howard Tyler is desperate for a job since he is married with children and his wife Judyis pregnant. When he meets the "bon vivant" Jerry Slocum, the stranger offers a job position to Howard. Soon he learns that Jerry is a small-time thief and his job would be to drive the getaway car after the heist. Howard improves the life of his family and tells that he is working in the night shift of a factory. Meanwhile, the journalist Gil Stanton that works in a tabloid is assigned by the owner to promote the thefts to increase the selling of newspaper. When Jerry kidnaps the son of a millionaire, he brutally kills the man and forces Howard to help him to dump the corpse in the sea. Then he asks for ransom to the family. When the boy is found, Stanton incites the population telling that the abductors are monsters. When Howard and Jerry are arrested, a mob threatens their lives in front of the police station. How will the police officers protect the prisoners? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A blonde with ice cold nerves and deep warm curves !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

12 December 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Condemned  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based upon the 1933 kidnapping and murder of Brooke Hart, son of the owner of Hart's Department Store in San Jose, California. Two suspects were arrested and jailed, but a lynch mob broke into the jail, dragged out the suspects and took them across the street to a city park where they hanged them from a tree. See more »

Connections

Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worth a Closer Look
18 July 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Despite a catch-penny tile, "Try and Get Me" (aka Sound of Fury) remains a truly frightening movie whose disturbing imagery lingers long after the voice-over reassurances subside. The director, Cy Endfield, was one of the lower profile victims of the Mc Carthy purges. Viewing this movie now, it's easy to see why.

Family man and returning vet Howard Tyler (played by the always low-key Frank Lovejoy) is recruited into a life of crime by no more than ordinary desires for the American Dream. Desperate and unemployed, he falls into the clutches of a swaggering stickup man superbly played by a preening Lloyd Bridges. (Notice how subtly Bridges bends Tyler to his will on their first meeting at the bowling alley.) Joining Bridges, Tyler finally gets the standing he desires, but the spiral he has entered dooms him and his family's share of America's promise. (Note that conspicuous among the lynch mob's vanguard are fraternity boys, true to the actual event on which the movie is based.)

Throughout, the lighting and photography effectively undermine the facile voice of reason that the producers probably felt obligated to include. Endfield may have wanted an anti- violence film, but the resulting visual landscape implies a world of endemic violence. A sense of powerlessness pervades the film, one that mere admonishments cannot overcome. As a result, the characters appear caught in some terrible metaphysical web from which there is no escape. Events march relentlessly on to a conclusion that remains one of the most harrowing in Hollywood history. This is film noir at its darkest and most frightening.

Something should be noted in passing about the compellingly exotic performance of Katherine Locke as Hazel the manicurist. Watch her facial expressions as this highly repressed plain-faced woman experiences yet one more rejection in what a paste-on smile shows to be a lifetime of rejections. Never has a blossom perched so precariously on a cheap hairdo conveyed as much lower-class longing as hers, while the car ride with a guilt-ridden Tyler could serve as tawdry inspiration for a dozen feminist tracts. What ever became of this unusual actress, I wonder.

Without doubt, however, the film's dramatic high point is the lynch mob. It's one of the most coldly unnerving 20 minutes in movie annals, far surpassing (in my view) the better-known Fury (1936) in its depiction of mass violence. The fact that the mob is made up of ordinary citizens brought to fever pitch is especially telling. Unthinking violence is thus shown as potentially present in us all.

At the same time, the screenplay refuses to take the easy way out. In fact, Howard and Jerry are guilty, unlike, say, the three unfortunate cowboys in The Oxbow Incident (1943). Thus, what repels us is not the fact that innocent men are killed for a crime they didn't commit. That would be too easy. Instead, I think we're unnerved by how the crowd appears to celebrate the brutality of vigilante justice. Endfield succeeds in making this aspect especially ugly. Yes, in a very general sense, justice is served—murderers are in fact punished for their crime—but if so, justice is served in a particularly barbaric way even if the act does have popular support. In my little book, Endfield has fashioned the most effective of all anti- lynching movies, in part because it doesn't take the easy way out.

That Endfield exiled himself to England and a conventional career with Stanley Baker, shows how much was lost among those purge victims whose disappearance, unlike many others, went generally unnoticed. Just a couple of years after the remarkable "Try and Get Me" (and Endfield's also provocative "Underworld Story"), Hollywood began sanitizing the screen with the escapism of period spectacles, Technicolor westerns, and full-cleavage sex goddesses. Indeed times had changed. As Endfield already knew, the studios had to fight the Cold War too. There would be no more thought-provoking Try and Get Me's.


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