27 user 30 critic

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.


Lewis Allen


Robert Rossen (screenplay), Ramona Stewart (novel)




Complete credited cast:
John Hodiak ... Eddie Bendix
Lizabeth Scott ... Paula Haller
Burt Lancaster ... Tom Hanson
Wendell Corey ... Johnny Ryan
Mary Astor ... Fritzi Haller
Kristine Miller ... Claire Lindquist
William Harrigan ... Judge Berle Lindquist
James Flavin ... Sheriff Pat Johnson
Jane Novak ... Mrs. Lindquist
Anna Camargo Anna Camargo ... Rosa


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 | Plot Synopsis


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


Approved | See all certifications »

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 »


Paula Haller: What did you tell her, Judge? That there's really no difference between us, that you're one of Fritzi's partners? That you make your money the same way Fritzi does except you get paid off in back alleys so that you can stay respectable?
Fritzi Haller: Oh don't talk like that! The Judge...
Paula Haller: Judge! Even the title's phony.
Fritzi Haller: He's trying to be nice, he said he'd talk to her.
Paula Haller: He's been talking to her ever since I was eight years ago.
Fritzi Haller: Well you're not eight years old anymore.
Paula Haller: No. I used to cry when I was eight.
Fritzi Haller: But you don't ...
See more »


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

User Reviews

Wendell Corey's first movie
7 March 2019 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

Barbara Stanwyck must have been busy, so Hollywood asked Mary Astor to play the hardened "casino" owner trying to protect her daughter from her past mistakes in Desert Fury. Lizbeth Scott is the daughter with bad judgement and a rebellious nature, and she quickly falls for the one man her mother forbids: John Hodiak. John is a gangster and clearly bad news, but Lizbeth insists on ruining herself for him, even when the uniformed, young, handsome Burt Lancaster is in love with her.

The so-called romance between Lizbeth and John is far less interesting than what could be argued as a romance between John and his faithful sidekick, Wendell Corey. Wendell gets an introducing credit in the movie, and he gets an enormously meaty role for his first foray in front of the camera. A villain with many layers, some of which couldn't be discussed because of the Hays Code, he's very protective over his friend and doesn't approve of Lizbeth's moony eyes.

The best part of Desert Fury is Edith Head's costumes. Every single scene, Lizbeth and Mary are dressed in gorgeous dresses that will have you oo-ing and ahh-ing for the entire running length. Lizbeth is very pretty in this film, and dressing her up in such beautiful costumes only makes it more fun to watch her, even when she's exercising bad judgement.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

15 August 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Desert Town See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Wallis Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed