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Fury [DVD] (1936) [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Sylvia Sidney , Spencer Tracy , Fritz Lang    DVD


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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Director Fritz Lang (M; Metropolis; The Big Heat) made this, his first American film in 1936 and many critics regard it as his best American film. Sylvia Sidney (Dead End; You Only Live Once; Damien: Omen II; ; Beetlejuice)& Spencer Tracy (Test Pilot; Northwest Passage; Bad Day at Black Rock; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner) star in this powerful thriller which still packs an emotional punch today. Joe Wilson (Tracy) was due to marry his fiancee Katherine Grant (Sidney) when mistaken for another man he is jailed and thought to have died in a jail fire started by a bloodthirsty lynch mob. However miraculously he didn't die and now filled with vengeance, he sets out to bring to his would be executioners the same brutal justice they tried to do to him. * Shockingly prior to this film's release in 1936 during the previous 49 years, some 6,000 people had become victims of lynch mobs in the U.S.

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart 1930s Morality Tale from Fritz Lang with Spencer Tracy 14 May 2005
By mirasreviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"Fury" was legendary German director Fritz Lang's first American film. He spoke English, but not well enough at the time to write fluid dialogue, so Lang worked on the script with writer Bartlett Cormack, who did the actual writing. Lang and Cormack based this morality tale of mob psychology and revenge on a story outline by Norman Krasna entitled "Mob Rule", but they incorporated some elements of a real lynching case that had recently occurred in San Jose, California. Lang's intention was to give the film a realistic, documentary feel. "Fury" gives the impression of looking at the laws and customs of the United States through foreign eyes, which, of course, it is, but I don't know if Lang meant that to be so evident.

Joe Wilson (Spencer Tracy) is a man very much in love with his fiancée Katherine (Sylvia Sydney). The couple are eager to get married but don't yet have enough savings. Katherine takes a job in another city to earn more money, while Joe works hard in Chicago. After over a year of this arrangement, Joe has saved enough money to marry Katherine, and he sets out in his new car to join her. But he is intercepted by police en route and arrested on suspicion of being part of a kidnapping gang. He is held in a small town jail pending further investigation, but gossip spreads of the arrest, and an angry mob descends on the jail. When the mob is unable to break into the cells, they burn and dynamite the jail. Joe is thought to have died in the fire. But he escaped and is determined to avenge his attempted murder by seeing that the lynch mob is prosecuted for murder.

"Fury" isn't the least bit subtle in its message. It states its morals outright, but that doesn't undermine its power. The film is neatly divided into 2 parts: Part one concerns the Fury of the Mob, and part two is about Joe's Fury. The fury of the mob is transferred to its victim, and, although Joe's anger is more justified, "Fury" asserts that it is just as corrosive. At one point, the town barber delivers a monologue on violent impulse. The entertainment value that the public finds in both the lynching and subsequent trial is emphasized. And the state's Governor is reluctant to answer the Sheriff's request for National Guardsmen to protect the jail on account of election politics. The film is generally complimentary of the justice system, but scathingly critical of "mob justice" and vigilantism. "Fury" wasn't a failure when it was released, but neither was it a big success. Looking at it now, I wonder if that may have been because the film is critical of its audience. That's always a recipe for dismal box office. In any case, "Fury" is a smart "social conscience" film of the 1930s that doesn't align itself with any political party or group.

The DVD (Warner Brothers 2005 release): The picture and sound quality are good, but I don't think this is a restored print due to occasional small white specks. The flaws would hardly be noticeable unless you were looking for them, though. There is a theatrical trailer and an audio commentary by Peter Bogdanovich and director Fritz Lang. Yes, Fritz Lang! The commentary alternates between Peter Bogdanovich discussing Lang and the film in the present day and an interview with Fritz Lang that Bogdanovich did in mid-1965. Lang talks about his career, writing and filming "Fury", and differences between American and German filmmaking. Lang's commentary is quite a treat and very interesting. Bogdanovich is also interesting, as he fills in some of the gaps in Lang's comments. The audio commentary is definitely worth a listen. Subtitles for the film are available in English, Spanish, and French.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FRITZ LANG & SPENCER TRACY: WHAT A TEAM! 29 Jan 2003
By "scotsladdie" - Published on Amazon.com
A very unusual M-G-M film from 1936: because of its theme of social consciousness, it seems much more a likely candidate for Warner Brothers. It's a dilly with an outstanding performance by Tracy as the wrong man: En route to see his fiancee, Katherine (Sylvia Sidney) Joe Wheeler (Spencer Tracy) is arrested as a suspected kidnapper and is jailed pending trial. The evidence against him is strickly circumstantial: he possess a bill from a ransom statement. Then a mob forms around the jail, but Sheriff Ellis (Walter Brennan) manages to disband them & send them home... And that's all I'm going to give out plot-wise. Obviously, there is a whole lot more to this famous film in which Fritz Lang made is American directorial debut. This was Lang's favourite American film - and rightfully so: it demonstrates his directorial genius in wasting NOT A FRAME of film, telling his story with sharp cross-cutting between victims and tormentors, while unravelling the mindless and murderous passion of a mob out of control. Sylvia Sidney is excellent as usual as Katherine: this was her sole role for M-G-M. The film awakened America to what the reality of mob violence means. The original working titles for the film were THE MOB & MOB RULE. For a great companion piece, view the excellent Lang production YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE with Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney made the next year, in 1937: it's available on video.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Stuff! 3 Sep 2000
By A. Wolverton - Published on Amazon.com
The film begins as a fairly routine romance: Spencer Tracy and Sylvia Sidney fall in love, are forced to separate for a time, and plan their reunion. All goes well until Tracy is arrested on a kidnapping charge. When Tracy is taken to the small-town jail, the local gossip begins. From this point, the film becomes a gritty, raw study of mob violence. The direction and action are relentless. Watching Tracy's reaction to the happenings around him is one of the pleasures of the film. Compare the way the local people act to the recent acts of violence we see today. (Have things changed much?) FURY is powerful, forceful, and memorable.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lang's First American Film 19 May 2005
By Scott T. Rivers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
An insightful study of mob rule, director Fritz Lang's "Fury" (1936) still packs a disturbing punch - abetted by excellent performances from Spencer Tracy, Sylvia Sidney and Bruce Cabot. The closing shot was studio-imposed and unnecessary, but does not lessen the film's overall impact. "Fury" remains a powerful, thought-provoking drama. The DVD release includes an excellent commentary track from director Peter Bogdanovich.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sobering and Spectacular Stuff 30 Jun 2001
By Peter Ingemi - Published on Amazon.com
Spencer Tracy is spectacular in his role as an innocent man out for revenge on the persumed burned to death by a lynch mob. A lot of good performances come to play in here from Walter Abel as the DA trying to procecute the lynch mob members to Walter Bremmen as the deputy and Edward Ells at the Sheriff torn between his loyalty to the town (ironicy the town that he fights till knocked out to keep from his prisoner) and to the law. It is a moving movie one that isn't well known BUT SHOULD BE. Quite a movie for 1936 and quite an actor is Tracy
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