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The Furies (The Criterion Collection)

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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The Criterion Collection
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A cattle baron's daughter vows to ruin his ranch and gets a shady banker to help her do it.

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

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer
  • Audio commentary
  • A rare 1931 on-camera interview with Walter Huston, made for the movie theater series "Intimate Interviews"
  • New video made with Nina Mann, daughter of director
  • Stills gallery
  • Booklet featuring a new essay by critic Robin Wood and a 1957 "Cahiers du cinema" interview

Product Details

  • Actors: Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Huston, Judith Anderson, Wendell Corey, Gilbert Roland
  • Directors: Anthony Mann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0016AKSP0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,717 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Furies (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This film about the feud between a megalomaniac rancher T.C. Jeffords(Walter Huston) and his daughter Vance (Barbara Stanwyck) is an unusual but excellent western. Jeffords and his daughter have a complex relationship with even a hint of the sordid that had to remain unstated in 1950, when this film was made. In middle age T.C. takes a wife, Flo (Judith Anderson). Vance sees Flo as a threat to her relationship with Daddy, and in an angry moment hurls a pair of scissors at Flo's face. In revenge T.C. kills someone who means a great deal to his daughter, the squatter Herrara (Gilbert Roland).

From this moment forward the battle between father and daughter shifts from being one of violence to one of wits. Wendell Corey plays Rip Darrow, Stanwyck's love interest in this film. He quickly finds that as long as Daddy is alive that he will always come in second. Daddy has ownership of all of the emotions Vance has to give - both love and hate.

This film is basically a film noir played out on a Western landscape. It is often "Mourning Becomes Electra" from the father/daughter angle versus mother and son. Directed by Anthony Mann, maker of the thinking person's Westerns, it is a shame that Walter Huston did not live to see the release of this - his final film - in which he gives so great a performance.
The following is the list of special features for this release:

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 ans a 1957 Cahiers du cinéma interview with Mann, as well as a new printing of Niven Busch's original novel
1 Comment 47 of 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Director Anthony Mann made the important transition from film noir B movies to westerns in 1950 with three films: Winchester '73, Devil's Doorway, and The Furies. The last film was an ambitious big budget mix of western and women's melodrama with a fascinating dash of psychological subtext. At its heart is a startlingly complex performance from Barbara Stanwyck.

While The Furies has all the iconography of a western, it more resembles a psychological drama and as such, it is quite an achievement that Mann was able to make it within the Hollywood studio system.

There is an audio commentary by film historian Jim Kitses. He talks about how the film evokes a blend of gothic romance, film noir and the western. He makes a convincing case for Anthony Mann as an auteur and how his thematic preoccupations elevate this film above genre conventions. Kitses expertly analyzes the director's style and how it informs the characters and their motivations. This is a solid, informative track.

"Action Speaks Louder Than Words" is an excerpt from a 1967 interview with Mann for British television. He talks about his beginnings in the theatre and how he broke into the film business. Mann also talks about some of the filmmakers that influenced him in this excellent interview.

"Intimate Interviews: Walter Huston" is a rare interview with the veteran actor who comes across as a larger than life figure as was his reputation. It is a playful yet odd interview as he gives little away.

"Nina Mann Interview" features the actress and daughter of Anthony Mann as she talks about her father and his films, in particular, The Furies.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a great "noir western" starring Barbara Stanwyck, whose name is synonoymous with Westerns and Noirs. The underlying theme and truths of Father- Daughter love and hate, with the need and love of land and family legacy. Here Stanwyck is Vance Jeffords, the only person who can run and manage the "Furies", thousands of acres of ranch and cattle, besides her father. Torn between love for Rip Darrow, an enemy of her father's, as well as Juanito, a Mexican squatter and one at war with her father.
The pairing of Wendell Corey (Rip) and Stanwyck takes a little getting used to. They were much better matched in the File on Thelma Jordan. Their romance is challenged by her devotion to and later on hate for her father, played by the great Walter Huston in his last movie.
When Stanwyck received the AFI's lifetime achievement award in 1987, John Huston saluted her with the words his father said after the movie rapped.
"I just made a great film with a great and wonderful actress and lady"; referring to Stanwyck.
This movie was not well received when it was first released due to the times (1950) when people were not about to accept a tough and mannish woman (aptly named Vance) having difficult times with her father, as well as two romances; one with a Mexican and she kisses him on the mouth!!
This movie has been re-digitalized and I can say as one who had taped it years ago on AMC, this is a fine and clean print. The original book by Niven Busch is added, Also Criterion always has extra adds on the DVD that are worth seeing. You will not forget this movie anytime soon and know why it is becoming a
cult fav.
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