Fury (1936)

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  •  (3.5 out of 5 stars)

Fritz Lang’s first American film is a gritty and bizarre anti-lynch mob story starring Spencer Tracy as Joe Wilson, who is supposedly killed by a mob for a crime he didn’t commit. The plot escalates quickly and quite ridiculously from Joe being a idealistic young man on his way to his wedding to him suddenly being taken into custody in a small town and then burned alive by the townspeople! The madness of the masses of small-town America seem contrived compared to a lynch mob of the Old West in a movie like The Ox-Bow Incident (1943). When Joe narrowly escapes the inferno of the jail, he is determined to secretly enact revenge on the townsfolk through the court system, and the film turns into a compelling courtroom drama. While the twists and turns of the script are mostly absurd, Spencer Tracy’s obsessive turn for vengeance keeps this one interesting down to the final scene. Sylvia Sidney plays Joe’s fiancee, Katherine, and does a suitable job of luring him back from the dark side.

Movie Description

Fury is a 1936 American drama film directed by Fritz Lang which tells the story of an innocent man (Spencer Tracy) who narrowly escapes being lynched and the revenge he seeks. The picture was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and stars Sylvia Sidney and Tracy, with a supporting cast featuring Walter Abel, Bruce Cabot, Edward Ellis and Walter Brennan. Loosely based on the events surrounding the Brooke Hart murder, the movie was adapted by Bartlett Cormack and Lang from the story Mob Rule by Norman Krasna. Fury was Lang's first American film.

The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Original Story. In 1995, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."