Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston are at their fierce finest in master Hollywood craftsman Anthony Manns crackling western melodrama. In 1870s New Mexico Territory, megalomaniacal widowed ranch-owner T. C. Jeffords (Huston, in his final role) butts heads with his daughter, Vance (Stanwyck), a firebrand with serious daddy issues, over her dowry, choice of marriage, and, finally, ownership of the land itself. Both sophisticated in its view of frontier settlement and ablaze with searing domestic drama, The Furies is a hidden treasure of American filmmaking, boasting Oscarnominated cinematography and vivid supporting turns from Judith Anderson, Wendell Corey, and Gilbert Roland.
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer Audio commentary featuring film historian Jim Kitses (Horizons West) A rare, 1931 on-camera interview with Walter Huston, made for the movie theater series Intimate Interviews New video interview with Nina Mann, daughter of director Anthony Mann Stills gallery of rare behind-the-scenes photos Theatrical trailer PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Robin Wood, a 1957 Cahiers du cinéma interview with Mann, and a new printing of Niven Buschs original novel More!
Seconds into Anthony Mann's hardboiled horse opera, Barbara Stanwyck absent-mindedly plays with a pair of scissors. Not to worry: she'll put them to use soon enough. Until that time, Stanwyck's volatile heiress, Vance, alternately flatters and manipulates her egotistical father, T.C. Jeffords (a feisty Walter Huston in his final performance). It's the 1870s and T.C.'s ranch, the Furies, inspires envy throughout the New Mexico territory. If Vance picks a suitable husband, T.C. promises her a handsome dowry. Unfortunately, she chooses brutal gambler Rip Darrow (Rear Window
's Wendell Corey). If it wasn't for Vance's friendship with Mexican-American squatter Juan (Gilbert Roland), she wouldn't inspire much sympathy, but Vance stands up for the Herreras when financiers pressure the Jeffords to throw them off their land. Then, T.C. takes up with scheming socialite Flo (Rebecca
's Dame Judith Anderson), and the tense relations between father and daughter explode into all-out war. By the end, those scissors end up in someone's face, leading to a cycle of revenge-oriented violence. Adapted from Niven Busch's novel by Red River
's Charles Schnee, The Furies
isn't as deliriously over-the-top as Busch's Duel in the Sun
, but it plays more like Shakespearean tragedy than Technicolor camp, and Stanwyck owns the screen from start to finish. The excellent extras include erudite commentary from film historian Jim Kitses, a terrific 1967 interview with Mann for British TV, a playful 1931 chat with Huston, remembrances from Mann's daughter Nina, an essay from critic Robin Wood, and a new printing of Busch's original novel. --Kathleen C. Fennessy