The Sound of Fury (1950) Poster

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Still powerfull, after all these years
bux24 February 2001
I saw this movie as a child, and had a chance to see it recently after more years than I want to admit. I know why it has stuck with me for so many years. This is powerful stuff, even by today's standards. Crime, punishment, yellow journalism, it is all addressed in this finely acted, fast paced drama. Bridges(like you've never seen him before!)turns in an acting 'tour de force' as the ego-maniac, demented hoodlum that kills without reason. Lovejoy is the husband and father caught up in a bad period of economics, Carlson the reporter that must learn that the power of the word is often as swift and deadly as that of the sword. This is high drama, done in the classic 50s film-noir tradition, it is must viewing for anyone that enjoyed "In Cold Blood"(1967)and movies of that genre.
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A haunting film, after all these years.
bobj-317 March 2001
I, too, saw this picture as a child, on television, alone, late at night, and I can still recall the powerful impression it made. Truly frightening in its revelations of human depravity and mob violence. Lloyd Bridges' best performance by far, he is absolutely gripping as the deranged and heartless murderer. The scene in which he is in his cell, with the mob breaking into the prison and coming to get him, is stunning in its power. I haven't seen the film in a half century, but I still remember those moments.
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Worth a Closer Look
dougdoepke18 July 2010
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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A Stellar Noir Film with a Message as Strong Today as in 1950
harrisonransom19 August 2006
An awesomely powerful look at the divide between social classes in the US circa 1950 culminating in the transformation of law-abiding citizens into a violent, blood-thirsty mob bent on taking the law into their own hands. The mass psychology of mob violence couldn't be better portrayed. I have no idea how this truly moving film could have fallen into obscurity. It's message that violence never resolves conflict is as painfully current today as it was in 1950. Will we never learn from the past? One of the darkest Noir films I've seen. Generates a successive waterfall of emotions spanning the spectrum of human experiences, needs and drives. Well acted and well worth watching. Very highly recommended.
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Manipulation and Consequences
Claudio Carvalho19 January 2017
The unemployed Howard Tyler (Frank Lovejoy) is desperate for a job since he is married with children and his wife Judy (Kathleen Ryan) is pregnant. When he meets the "bon vivant" Jerry Slocum (Lloyd Bridges), 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 (Richard Carlson) 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?

"The Sound of Fury" is a film with a simple storyline and an impressive conclusion. The manipulation of the masses by the "brown press" (tabloid) to sell newspapers is impressive and the consequence is scary. The reaction of the uncontrollable violent mob is the best part of this movie and shows the power of the free press, for the good or for the bad. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Justiça Injusta ("Justice Unjust")
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Rare lynching film based on an all but forgotten true story
Steve-6022 July 2006
A bit preachy in the style of the day but a remarkable film. The opening is especially strong. Among the interesting touches, the movie lynch mob is made up mainly of college students wearing their school t-shirts. New York Model Adele Jergens didn't have much of a Hollywood career but she's right on the money in this one. Although the time frame is post WWII, the story is based on an actual lynching in San Jose, California, in 1933. Reporter Royce Brier of the San Francisco Chronicle won a Pulitzer for his account of the event.California Governor James Rolph Jr. was quoted as saying he would like to turn over all jail inmates serving sentences for kidnapping to the custody of "those fine patriotic San Jose citizens, who know how to handle such a situation."
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Lovejoy and Bridges at their best
rvbunting-121 May 2006
This is a true sleeper in the film noir category, because so few people saw it in original distribution. There was a legal dispute caused by the original title, "Sound of Fury" which some felt was too close to Fritz Lang's "Fury" filmed earlier.

Much of this picture was filmed in Phoenix, and the old city courthouse is very prominent, with it's beautiful copper doors. A true 'dive' nightclub, the "La Jolla Club" later known as the "Guys and Dolls" was used for a key scene.

Lloyd Bridges showed his wonderful range and capability as a wild-eyed psycho, and Lovejoy was tragically sympathetic as a tortured regular guy gone terribly wrong. The cast was very strong.

This is on a par with any of the noir films of the late 40s-early 50s, and holds up today.

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Try And Get Me!
ccthemovieman-13 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The subject headline - Try And Get Me! - is the title of the movie, as I know it.

Man, this is a different kind of film noir story, mainly because of the ending. It centers around two crooks, played by Lloyd Bridges and Frank Lovejoy. Of the two, Bridges is the more fun guy to watch. He and his girlfriend (played by Adele Jergens) have some very good dialog. Lovejoy and his potential girlfriend have some lines that are so bad they are laughable! It almost reminded me of poor Elisha Cook verbally duking it out with tough-gal Marie Windsor: in other film noirs corny but fun stuff.

This was an entertaining film almost from the start. The last 30 minutes are really intense after Lovejoy cracks, stupidly admits his crime and is unfairly accosted as the murderer (he was the accomplice, not the murderer.) Then, the townsfolk, fueled by sensationalist journalism by the local paper, form into a huge lynch mob and storm the jail after the two criminals. The scenes of that, and what happens, are horrific. I am not exaggerating. In fact, it was one of the most disturbing scenes I've ever seen on film, especially for a classic movie. The cheers from the crowd when they kill the two men (which is not shown) are downright chilling.

The film obviously is a powerful indictment on yellow journalism and of mob mentality. The last scene was so distasteful that I have never wanted to watch this movie again!
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Crime Wave In Santa Sierra.
Spikeopath19 April 2010
Howard Tyler (Frank Lovejoy) is a good honest family man living in California who just can't catch a break. Struggling financially and upset that he can't support his family, he falls in with small time hoodlum Jerry Slocum (Lloyd Bridges) who convinces him to join him in robbing gas stations. However, things start to get out of control as they kidnap the son of a wealthy family to hold for ransom. But what follows will have far reaching consequences for all involved...

Also known as Try And Get Me, The Sound Of Fury is directed by Cy Endfield and is based on the novel The Condemned by Jo Pagano (who along with Endfield also writes the screenplay here). The story is incredibly based on a factual episode known as the Brooke Hart case that occurred in 1933 in San Jose, California. Fritz Lang's 1936 film Fury was also loosely based on the same story, which probably explains why Endfield's film had a name change to Try And Get Me.

A brilliant crime thriller, the film is a damming indictment of uncontrolled violence in small town Americana. Its themes involving class divides, the uncivilization and ignorance of some Americans, moral and social collapse and the irresponsibility's of the press, are all rammed home with force by the soon to be blacklisted director. By definition, Endfield and Pagano have crafted the ultimate social conscious movie. Filling it with relevance that will last the ages, the undervalued Endfield also come up trumps in mood setting and visual flourishes. This be prime film noir too. Tumbling pebbles, a crime shown in reflection, our protagonist standing in the dark ruefully looking out a window, a complete night club sequence shot off kilter, all indelible images that linger long in the memory (Guy Roe on photography). Then there's the finale, a brutal and shocking ending that had Raymond Borde & Etienne Chaumenton (A Panorama Of American Film Noir 1941-1953) proclaiming it to be one of the most brutal sequences in postwar American cinema. They aren't exaggerating, it is, and it caps off a stunning movie.

There can be a reasonable argument put forward that the film asks for pity towards the hoodlums of the piece. But that's a confliction that serves as a call for a deeper thought process with the film. The makers are merely adding drips of fuel to an already incendiary device. Hugo Friedhofer provides the music and Kathleen Ryan, Richard Carlson & Katherine Locke fill out the support cast. However, this is Bridges' movie, Lovejoy is excellent as the increasingly fretful Tyler, but Bridges goes from smarm to charm with ease and then to crazy psychotic in the blink of an eye, an unnerving character given the treatment by the big man. Still awaiting a DVD release, any chance you get to see this film you should grab with both hands. Powerful, intelligent stuff. 9/10
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Remembering TRY AND GET ME
movman6619 November 2005
As others have said.....This movie stays with you....I was 10.. probably younger..when I saw it....and I can still recall the feeling in my stomach and aching in my heart. I don't remember much of the details of the movie......just the overall feeling I came away with....the pain...of something terribly wrong, injustice... I don't believe that it could have been "workmanlike" in any way since I remember the feelings so strongly.....A "Workmanlike" made film could not have made that happen to me...I would really like to see it again as an adult....I hope I can find it on DVD.

It's revealing to me that someone else.. as a child.. after so many years.. could have come away from the film with the same, exact feelings.

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Gritty, multi-themed early 50's crime-drama
jc-osms1 May 2010
Interesting little B-movie thriller, which starts with the theme of what an honest but desperate man will do to help his family survive, moves on to a loaded discussion on sensationalist lurid journalism before ending with a damning indictment of mob rule.

It's quite a trip and to get us there introduces us to the memorable character played by Lloyd Bridges, a cocky young psychopath whose petty crimes take along with him on the lure of easy money, unemployed, hard up family man Frank Lovejoy. It's not long though before Bridges' true character comes to light, escalating in no time to a kidnapping and brutal murder with disastrous outcomes for all concerned.

For its time, this is all pretty heady stuff, shown to us in matter of fact style by director Endfield with to my mind anyway, little real deference to noir conventions. The film is a bit slow to get started but once Bridges appears, it picks up on his manic energy. Some of the peripheral characters are just a bit too obvious, like the humanist professor friend of the sensationalist journalist whose screaming headlines, the film would have it, egg the local townsfolk to storming the jail while said journalist's own realisation of his part in the mayhem is also a little laboured but these are counteracted in some measure by some effective low-key character acting by Lovejoy and Katherine Locke as the lovelorn girl with whom Bridges sets him up for alibi purposes.

The concluding riot scene, (with it seems a lot of university students to the fore!) gets the biggest budget and is effectively staged, reminiscent of its predecessor in Lang's classic "Fury", before the big downbeat message is double-underlined for us as the credits roll.

A very watchable and considering its era, bold movie with interesting characters, dealing with big subjects and ending with a thundering moral message to boot. Quite a lot to pack in and done pretty well all round, I'd say.
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Brutal Moralistic Crime Drama
Robert J. Maxwell12 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Frank Lovejoy is a veteran who never was sent overseas during the war. He can't find a job to support his wife (Kathleen Ryan) and little boy. Angry, embittered, and perhaps a little guilty, he falls in with bad guy Lloyd Bridges who sport platinum cuff links and seems to be enjoying himself all over the little California town. Bridges offers Lovejoy a job as his wheel man. Just a couple of minor stick-ups, nothing serious. But the robberies escalate into the kidnapping of a college boy from a rich family. Bridges, an envious psychopath, kills the kid out of spite. Both Bridges and Lovejoy are caught and jailed but several thousand people break into the jail, beat the men, and pass them outside overhead like serving platters where they meet vigilante justice.

I haven't seen it since I was a kid but the memory of that climactic collective murder still makes me wince.

It's impossible to comment on the performances, or on much else for that matter, after the passage of so many years but unless my brain has turned to tofu, I'm compelled to recommend the film. I remember Lovejoy as being a little stiff but Lloyd Bridges giving a dead imitation of a caged animal. Kathleen Ryan was winsome. And there is a touching portrait of a desperately lonely lady who hooks up with Lovejoy.

It was made at the height of the anti-Red hysteria in Hollywood, a time when subliminal pro-communist messages were being read into cinematic trifles. And the advertising campaign that accompanied this release seemed almost to goad the audience into mindless mob action. Get in on the ground floor of the explosive rage for justice! That sort of thing. In other words, hang the Reds.

It was completely at odds with the message of the movie itself, which was that ordinary guys can get sucked up by circumstances and find themselves suffering the same fate as those who are truly evil. Oh -- and mobs can be dangerous. (If you're a social psychologist, think "risky shift".) Out of all the simple black-and-white crime melodramas that appeared in the post-war period, this is one of the few that had me by the lapels.

Based on a real incident in 1930s San Jose, California.

If it shows up, be sure to catch it.
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Strong first half (mainly thanks to Bridges) but the potential in the second half is not delivered on as well as I wanted even if it is still impacting
bob the moo5 May 2008
When Howard Tyler moved his family out west to California, he did not plan for unemployment to push them as close to breaking point as it has. Down on his luck, Howard is hanging out in a bowling lane when he meets the charismatic and generous Jerry Slocum. Slocum offers him a job that will pay really well and Howard gratefully accepts. When he learns that he is the driver in the robbery of a grocery store, he has misgivings but none that cannot be drowned out by the relief of having plenty of money in his pocket for the first time in years. However one thing leads to another and it is not long before Howard finds himself exceeding what he is willing to accept being part of but yet unable to get out.

A late night "noir" double bill on channel 4 caused me to stumble across this film despite never having heard of it before. Although not strictly a noir, the film is an effective drama that does rely on the "normal" guy drawn into a destructive world of crime. The plot offers lots of potential in the dark content and is still good even if it doesn't really deliver on it. The narrative focuses on Howard's descent and I was surprised by morally quite how simplistic it all was. Howard's inability to deal with what he does is straightforward and the clear fate served him by the script is also quite easy. The media plays a part in the shape of journalist Gil Stanton and I hoped this would produce something of real insight but mostly he and other characters seem to exist to vocalise the moralising part of the script. They do make more of it towards the end but I wanted more in the way of consistency.

The moralising and simplicity across the film does rather make for a weaker second half but the "descent" is by far the best part of the film. In terms of delivery it offers more dramatic scenes but this also means more meat for the actors to work with. Lovejoy's desperation but yet conflict is written across his performance and at its best is pretty good. Unfortunately for him, he is totally in the shadow of a really enjoyable turn from Lloyd Bridges. Bridges is cool, arrogant, angry, slick, vain, violent and unpredictable and he is easily the most memorable part of the film. Inexplicable then that the script lets him disappear for the vast majority of the second half of the film – his absence is felt. Carlson tries to be the heart of the later debate but he cannot do it and comes over quite insincere and simplistic. Ryan, Locke, Jergens and others are so-so.

Overall then this is an interesting moral drama that has plenty of good moments in the first half and plenty of potential in the second half's moralising. Bridges and Lovejoy deliver well in the first half. While it is a real shame that the second half feels weak, simplistic and no where near as intelligent and challenging as I wanted it to be, it is still pretty dark and interesting for the period and should be recognised for that.
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Powerful !
shady34 November 2017
Watched this film tonight for the first time and expected a standard film noir but got a thrilling story of a heartless killer (Lloyd Bridges), a man whose life is spiraling out of control (Frank Lovejoy) and an ending that left me speechless. I am shocked that this film is not talked about more in the lists of the best noirs of all time.
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Lloyd Bridges in your best role ever!!!
This sad history really happened on thirties in San Jose California and later a book and on fifties into a movie about a jobless guy played by Lovejoy who try get a job without success so find a clever guy Lloyd Bridges as Jerry Slocum who invite him to a little job as night driver,after few works they made a kidnapping and end up killing the victim,Tyler now is a disturbing person who is involved a murder....Jerry actually the brain in all this mess trying to get the money,but all fall down after Tyler had a nervous's about how the press can pressure all people to make revenge for ours hands...the movie is good but l'd never saw so realistic acting from Lloyd Bridges like that fantastic!!!Another character to be mentioned is Velma played by gorgeous Adele Jergins who a woman to pursuit a easy life...great noir from the Cy Endfield!!


First watch: 2017 / How many: 1 / Source: DVD / Rating: 8
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And the Furious
sol-13 April 2017
Retitled 'Try and Get Me' for re-release, this crime drama flows better under its original title, with 'Fury' referring to swelling mob anger as an unemployed father confesses to aiding in the murder of a man he was holding for ransom. And yet, while angry mobs and the sort of sensationalistic newspaper reporting that encourages mob hysteria are important factors, they are left to the final third of the movie with the bulk of time spent on the budding friendship between the father and psychopath who lures him into a life of crime. This is a positive in that the film exposes the vulnerability of men without steady jobs and bills and personal pride to contend with. The first hour of the movie also gives Lloyd Bridges a chance to a shine in a tricky turn that requires him to talk and act sanely with a wild streak bubbling just beneath the surface. The final half-hour of the film is less effective than it could have been though. The film's messages are hammered home with the newspaper reporter character bluntly told "as a journalist you have a great responsibility" and "men don't live in a vacuum". Lead actor Frank Lovejoy also has a hard time playing mentally unhinged in a credible manner. With such a solid first hour though, this is a difficult movie to overlook and it remains well filmed towards the end, with lots of creative camera angles, even when the material turns didactic.
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Harsh, well-acted
Panamint9 September 2016
The entire cast delivers high-caliber acting, particularly Frank Lovejoy and Lloyd Bridges. Bridges is unforgettable as the psycho "Jerry". Cliff Clark, the ultimate movie cop, is perfectly cast as a police chief.

A brutal, unrelenting tone is maintained throughout the film, and the film-makers use a sledgehammer approach to convey ideas, unnecessarily so in my opinion. OK I get it, you don't need to clobber me to hammer things into my mushy little brain.

Newspapers are portrayed in a devastating manner similar to the old Edward G. Robinson classic "Five Star Final", and with similar effectiveness although with an even more heavy hand. But the message holds up whether 1930's, 1950's or with today's sensationalized multi-media delivery of various "movement"-style causes that can result in violence by impressionable or disgruntled individuals who injure or kill innocent civilians or police officers in extreme cases.

Harsh, loud, impactful but rather unsatisfying as an overall well- rounded movie, this is a somewhat unusual film that is watchable mainly due to the outstanding performances.
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beresfordjd20 April 2010
Lloyd Bridges always gives good value whether as a complete villain, as here, or as a hero- remember Sea Hunt? Sea Hunt was my favourite TV series when I was an impressionable kid. I also loved him in the Airplane movies, showing a real talent for comedy. He is the best thing in this B movie. Most of the other actors I am sure were not professionals and Frank Lovejoy was not up to par either and usually I have quite liked his performances. I am watching it as I type this and am far from impressed by it - brave treatment of a dark subject or no. The actress who plays the manicurist is close to appallingly bad. Where were the razzies when we needed them? I am interested enough to see it through ,however, so it cannot be quite as bad as I am painting it. There are lots of film noir movies from this era that were so much better. This could have been superb with a better, more able cast (Lloyd Bridges aside). I think a lot of this was dubbed later so it affects the acting and atmosphere.
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Noir Non-Classic
ionus9 October 2001
The only interesting acting in this film is Lloyd Bridges'. The writing and directing are workmanlike but the result is uncomfortable to watch and there is a definite preachiness to some of the speeches (what else can you call them?). Also, the ending sequences are a bit too reminiscent of Fritz Lang's "Fury" (1936, starring Spencer Tracy), even though the events turn out differently.
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harrowing portrayal of mob violence
Terence McArdle22 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A harrowing indictment of lynch mob violence, The Sound of Fury (AKA Try and Get Me) pulls no punches. Out of work family man Frank Lovejoy gets involved in small time stick-ups with sociopath narcissist, Lloyd Bridges (yes, the Sea Diver star). Eventually, they progress to kidnapping. Bridges' true character comes out and leads to murder. Lovejoy's family man breaks down, drinks heavily and confesses his duplicity to a woman he has picked up. She goes to the police and the two are arrested. A local scandal sheet starts whipping the community into a frenzy, an announcer actually calls for a lynching on the radio and soon a mob takes out Lovejoy and Bridges as they await trial. That's it -- and that last scene is absolutely terrifying. This was a courageous movie to make at the height of the McCarthy era (1950). The story was inspired by a 1933 lynching in San Jose of two kidnapping suspects; a murder by mob that was actually condoned by then Calif. Gov. James Rolph. The movie conveys a real ambiance of poverty and grittiness beyond the typical film noir posturings of the era. Lovejoy and Bridges are at their best. The Lovejoy character is sympathetic and fragile while the Bridges character is a true predator. And dig the weird narcissism and almost gay vibe that Bridges gives off when he poses in the mirror for Lovejoy at their first meeting. Director Cy Enfield was gray-listed and split for the UK where he did the great Hell Drivers (1957) and Zulu (1964). This is his forgotten masterpiece and actually outdoes the similar Fury (1936) by director Fritz Lang.
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