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(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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John Cassavetes is the only highlight. The opening scene seems fake and Amy Irving's acting sucks. Some of DePalma camera work is amazing but the plot didn't work for me. Read morePublished 2 months ago by swankhood
A story about people that have special abilities and the organization who try to train them to hurt others . Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
1978 movie, but I gave always loved these type movies. Like Dead Zone and others.Published 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
Campy, fun and well produced cult film. Kirk Douglas and John Williams must have been "between jobs" when they did this film.Published 2 months ago by Jon Lewis
A good 70's era movie that doesn't scrimp on the story-telling just to cram in more action. The Fury has just about everything, international spy intrigue, psychic power, violence... Read morePublished 2 months ago by DrP
The first time I saw this movie, I was a child in Jamaica. I loved it then as I do now.Published 3 months ago by Suzette Stewart
This movie was like watching a train wreck. You couldn't look away. One viewer said 'They don't make movies like this anymore.' That's right . . . and there's a reason for that. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Beltlinech
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