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The Fury (Blu-ray)
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2001
THE FURY

(USA - 1978)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Mono

Dismissed at the time of its initial release as a mishmash of themes and genres, time has been kind to THE FURY, Brian De Palma's visually spectacular adaptation of the novel by John Farris. An ex-government agent (Kirk Douglas) seeks the help of a young girl (Amy Irving) with incredible psychic abilities to help locate his son (Andrew Stevens), who has extraordinary powers of his own and has been kidnapped by an ultra-secret organization who plan to use his talents for their own sinister purposes.

Farris' own script has a neat symmetry, encompassing Middle Eastern terrorism, government conspiracies, psychic horror, and a series of Grand Guignol death scenes, orchestrated to a turn by De Palma whose growing confidence as a filmmaker sees him fully engage with the concept of Pure Cinema which has characterized much of his work ever since.

Highlighted by John Williams' magnificent score (a genuinely eerie composition, one of the best of his career), the film opens slowly, builds momentum, and culminates in a breathtaking sequence which closes the movie on a note of screaming hysteria (the final thirteen shots have been celebrated and vilified in equal measure by disbelieving audiences ever since the movie first opened!). De Palma's technical precision is matched by his excellent cast, including John Cassavetes, Charles Durning and Carrie Snodgress, all of whom loan these outrageous proceedings a gravity which lesser actors might have scorned. Look quickly for a very young Daryl Hannah in an early pre-stardom role.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2013
De Palma has admitted that he lifted a lot of his technique from Hitchcock, defiantly stating that no one did it better than Hitchcock and every filmmaker in his wake has done the same thing, only he had the balls to admit it. Nowhere does he display his mastery of Hitchcock's visual trickery better than in THE FURY, a fiercely original supernatural thriller and one of the most unfairly forgotten cinematic classics of the 70s.

At the time, critics wrote THE FURY off as a cheap knock-off of CARRIE. Other than the fact that both deal with teens who possess telekinetic powers, the movies have very little in common. While CARRIE is a full-fledged horror movie, THE FURY is a thriller with few horror elements. There's some gore, a few creepy moments, but mostly it's espionage and spy vs. spy, only everyone is after psychic kids instead of microfilm.

De Palma effortlessly weaves stylistic set-pieces into the narrative, creating suspense, atmosphere and a surreal eeriness to the proceedings. Simple actions like two characters in separate locations scraping their fingernails on a wall and chair respectively speak volumes. De Palma's camera is almost always moving, flowing like a phantom around rooms. When it is static, the angle is usually so oppressive it creates a sense of claustrophobia. Characters are given moments to ponder the hopelessness of their situation (even the bad guys garner some sympathy for allowing themselves to be backed into a corner) and the photography reflects it powerfully.

Speaking of bad guys, John Cassavetes plays one of the screen's most ruthless villains, a man who will do anything to accomplish his job, untroubled by conscience or morality. And Kirk Douglas plays his antihero as a flawed and desperate man who is trying to remedy the sins of his past by saving the one positive thing in his life (his son). However, even he is willing to put others at risk to reach his goal.

John Williams's magnificent score is one of his best and Rick Baker's gruesome special effects, while sparingly used, remind us of how effective well-done practical effects could be. This tight, fun, down and dirty thriller is well worth re-evaluation.

And is there another movie out there with a more supremely satisfying ending?
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2000
Exuberant and glossy, this DePalma follow-up to CARRIE is a telekinetic feast. Incredulous and mind-blowing, this is a great pop movie with some fabulous DePalma sequences -- Amy Irving's flashback on the stairs is a dizzying and imaginative plot-mover; the opening assault will take you by complete surprise. In addition, there are some affecting performances mixed in among the hambone, but effective, performances of Kirk Douglas and especially John Cassavettes, who plays this role as if he is Rosemary's husband all grown up and evil. Carrie Snodgress is truly moving in a way too small role, and Amy Irving glows in those richly textured close-ups DePalma does so well. The story is compelling, if a bit convoluted, what with its undertone of doom and a special-effects romance that never plays itself out. If you love engrossing suspense/horror films, you can't miss with this one. John Williams' dense and lyrical score adds a mesmerizing dimension to the increasingly gory proceedings...And the finale is supremely satisfying.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Pleasure yes, but hardly a guilty one. This is De Palma's most staggering display of moxie -- his attempt to out-Hitchcock Hitchcock at every turn. Oh sure, the story's kind of a "Carrie" retread, and the plot doesn't make perfect sense, but who cares? This movie is an exercise in sheer technique, nowhere on display more than the classic ending -- a spewing, multi-angle Grande Guignol spectacle that gives nothing but satisfaction. My favorite actor, John Cassavetes -- maybe the only villain in film history who keeps his broken arm in a black sling -- plays it for all it's worth. This is a gloriously bloody movie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2013
Brian DePalma's "The Fury" is one of his earlier efforts that effectively blends various genres. The movie combines elements of Sci-Fi, Horror, and Suspense in a very unique way. The editing and the score is first rate. John Williams, composer of the classics "Jaws" and "Star Wars", creates a moody and melodic score that matches well with the action on screen. In all, a well made B movie with a great cast featuring Kirk Douglas, Amy Irving and the late John Casavetes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2012
The Fury and Carrie and Blow Out...all those fabulous Brian DePalma movies from the seventies, they really still hold up today. Maybe it's nostalgia on my part, but I still love to watch them.

The Fury seems complex at first, but it's really not. I still don't know why there are Arabs at the beginning shooting and blowing things up - they have nothing to do with the rest of the story as far as I can tell - but it doesn't matter. It's about a father trying to save his son from the bad guys. It's exciting, tragic and VERY cool.

The carnival sequence with Andrew Stevens and EVERY moment that Amy Irving is onscreen are the best parts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2013
Peter Sandza enlists the help of a young psychic after his son is kidnapped by a secret government organization in Brian De Palma's science fiction thriller, THE FURY, starring Kirk Douglas. De Palma attempts to marry the spy thriller into a supernatural horror film via John Farris' script, but both provide us with mixed results. The dueling plotlines pit Peter's search against Gillian's schooling, and force the story to become as uneven as the tone, which also receives constant interference from the comedic interjections that materialize in otherwise dark surroundings. Great performances by John Cassavetes and Carrie Snodgress are counter-balanced by the rather severe overacting on behalf of both Kirk Douglas and Amy Irving, whose joining together in the end seems strange given Gillian's growing distrust in those around her. Nevertheless, De Palma serves up several inspired scenes during Gillian's psychic lapses and Robin's deadly loss of control, but most will remember the film for its incredible closing scene more than anything else. Between the subject matter, the special effects, and the explosive finale, one can't help but draw similarities between this and David Cronenberg's SCANNERS, though both films succeed based on their own accord. While THE FURY misses as much as it hits, it is an enjoyable viewing experience overall.

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Her uncredited cameo in THE FURY was Daryl Hannah's big screen debut. It's rumored that Jim Belushi also got his motion picture start here as an extra in dark swim trunks who can be seen behind Amy Irving. Gordon Jump, who was soon to co-star as the station manager on TV's WKRP IN CINCINNATI, has a walk-on, as well.

Brian De Palma's paranormal, paranoiac spy thriller is violently bloody. In it, the son of government agent Douglas and a girl his age are kidnapped in separate incidents for the purpose of using their enormous psychic powers as weapons. A decent later-career starring vehicle for Douglas, who is looking well-preserved.

Warning: this one is not for the queasy. (That final death scene is spectacular!)

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.

(6.4) The Fury (1978) - Kirk Douglas/John Cassavetes/Carrie Snodgrass/Charles Durning/Amy Irving/Fiona Lewis/Andrew Stevens/Gordon Jump
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2000
Exuberant and glossy, this DePalma follow-up to CARRIE is a telekinetic feast. Incredulous and mind-blowing, this is a great pop movie with some fabulous DePalma sequences -- Amy Irving's flashback on the stairs is a dizzying and imaginative plot-mover; the opening assault will take you by complete surprise. In addition, there are some affecting performances mixed in among the hambone, but effective, performances of Kirk Douglas and especially John Cassavettes, who plays this role as if he is Rosemary's husband all grown up and evil. Carrie Snodgress is truly moving in a way too small role, and Amy Irving glows in those richly textured close-ups DePalma does so well. The story is compelling, if a bit convoluted, what with its undertone of doom and a special-effects romance that never plays itself out. If you love engrossing suspense/horror films, you can't miss with this one. John Williams' dense and lyrical score adds a mesmerizing dimension to the increasingly gory proceedings...And the finale is supremely satisfying.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2001
A secretive dark government snakes its way through both the
narrative as well as the character portrayals ... an abduction
orchestrated by a black-suited leader with a penchant for cigarettes ... the X-Files, right?
Not so fast; Brian DePalma and John Farris were the artists
for this motion picture, not Mr. S. King or Mr. C. Carter.
And when I say 'artists', I mean just that; not some mass
market hype-a-rama telling you the film is important and that
you WILL see it at any cost.
Take my word for it: At the price offered by Amazon, you'll
hopefully (affordably) order a copy, and take a dose or three
of this maligned and overlooked gem. Sure, it may look 1978-
dated, but as you watch it, you'll see how widely its influence
still trickles into the craft of film.
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