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Fury (1936)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 5 June 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 fake his death and frame the mob for his supposed murder.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Bartlett Cormack (screen play), Fritz Lang (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:
Sylvia Sidney ... Katherine Grant
Spencer Tracy ... Joe Wilson
Walter Abel ... District Attorney
Bruce Cabot ... Kirby Dawson
Edward Ellis ... Sheriff
Walter Brennan ... 'Bugs' Meyers
Frank Albertson ... Charlie
George Walcott ... Tom
Arthur Stone ... Durkin
Morgan Wallace ... Fred Garrett
George Chandler ... Milton Jackson
Roger Gray Roger Gray ... Stranger
Edwin Maxwell ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 June 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mob Rule See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 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, CA. The two suspects were pulled from jail by a group of vigilantes, who dragged them across the street to St. James Park and lynched them. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Joe Wilson: The mob doesn't think. It has no mind of its own.
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

 
Where we see how injustice always breeds more of the same.
23 April 2015 | by Roger BurkeSee all my reviews

Eighty years after its first release, this story of mob violence in USA is a savage indictment of the American system of mob "justice" from the 1880s to the 1960s. The fictional events of this movie, based upon a true incident, took place in the 1930s. Produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, directed by Fritz Lang, it stars Spencer Tracy and Sylvia Sidney in the key roles; with an excellent supporting cast, this is a story that stands the test of time.

I won't comment much on the plot and the story, both of which have been adequately addressed by the storyline on the main IMDb page, and a ton of detailed reviews here.

However, without Lang and Mankiewicz on this production, the dramatic irony would not, I think, have been as effectively portrayed - for two reasons. First, Lang coming from a Germany where Nazism was ascendant, knew all too well what injustice was all about and how people can prostitute their principles for what is perceived as justifiable retribution. Second, Mankiewicz was a highly experienced actor/producer/director who has shown, throughout his career, that injustice in all its forms must be shown for the evil it is. With such a combination at the reel wheel, this movie was guaranteed to be hard-hitting.

Lang's direction is very much on form, using lighting and shadow for full effect; using close up, quick editing in mob scenes; using the camera in extreme close up to ensure viewers note a particular item; and cross-cutting and inter-cutting scenes to heighten suspense. Not the first director to use those techniques, but Lang was a master at it.

For the most part, the script and dialog are excellent. My only critique centers upon the courtroom scenes and dialog which, by today's standards, are somewhat stagy; the repartee, between the prosecution and defense counsels, is particularly so, too often for this viewer. And the very last scene, seemingly preachy and even corny, which involves a long verbal exchange between the judge (Burton) and one of the main characters, can only be fully appreciated in the context of the times: a long history of lynching across the USA, an economy in the midst of a Great Depression and a nation on the cusp of another world war.

For Lang enthusiasts, Fury is a must see movie, despite the presence of a couple of handy coincidences, an improbable result with the use of dynamite and a glaring loose end - at the very end. Still, this is a movie that should be seen by all, and one I heartily recommend. Eight out of ten.

April 24, 2015


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