Reel Classics

Fury (1936) - Blu-ray Review

Fury (1936)

“The mob doesn’t think. It has a mind of its own.”

In 1933, some loud-mouthed man with a tiny mustache and a weird haircut rose to power in the country of Germany. His name, I believe, was Adolf Hitler. You may have heard of him, no? Well, he established a dictatorship to replace the political and economic failure of the Weimar Republic. Though despite the failures of the attempted Republic government, art in the country had flourished – especially the film industry.

"is an interesting film for sure that is really telling about America and the chaos that people are capable of."


From this sort of renaissance of German film, many notable directors had made their staple on film history. One of those being Fritz Lang, who made legendary pictures such as Metropolis and M. So, towards the end of 1932, Lang starts filming The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, but there is a problem: when Hitler takes over in January 1933, the film is banned under the new regime. However, Hitler has a little sidekick named Joseph Goebbels – the head of the propaganda of the Nazi Party. Despite having to ban Lang’s film, Goebbels is a fan of Lang’s and offers him a job: to be the head of a German film studio for the Third Reich. So, what does Lang do? He flees the country almost immediately.

So, after some time in France, Lang makes his way to the United States, and after a couple of years without work, he finally makes his first American film called Fury. Though perhaps not particularly exciting to modern audiences, the film holds a mirror up to American society with its examination of the ugly and chaotic nature of mob violence and also the dangers of seeking revenge – something that (sadly) is still relevant today. Especially for the time, it is quite a provocative film.Fury (1936)

Joe Wilson (Spencer Tracy) and Katherine Grant (Sylvia Sidney) are young hopefuls that are to be married as soon as Joe can save up enough money. After about a year passes, Joe makes a trip out west to meet Katherine so that they get married and get their promising lives started. But, on his way there, Joe is mistakenly taken for a wanted kidnapper for which he resembles the rather vague description. While in the jail, a rumor gets around town that the police caught the kidnapper, and the residents of the town quickly turn into a lynch mob. They burn down the jail that Joe is being kept in, with him still inside, and Katherine is there to witness the atrocity of her fiancé being burned to death. However…somehow Joe escapes, but becomes a changed man with his mind fixed on revenge against his wrong-doers.

Most certainly not his best film, but Lang does his best in incorporate his own style on the picture. He does well to deviate from the typical style and formula of American storytelling of that period. Though Spencer Tracy is the main man of the picture, there are many moments where the perspective of the film is told from the the mob, as well as Tracy’s later on. True to its title, you feel that anger and the fury of all of the characters. And though the ending is a bit typical of Hollywood, especially for the time it was made, the film does still raise this idea surrounding moral ambiguity that a viewer can still ponder on after the watch.

If I was going to recommend a Fritz Lang film, Fury probably would not be one I would mention, but it is an interesting film for sure that is really telling about America and the chaos that people are capable of. Lang did his best with what he could and at least tried to do something different for American audiences with Fury, which is now on Blu-Ray thanks to the Warner Brothers Archive Collection.

3/5 stars

Fury (1936)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Warner Archive Collection
Available on Blu-ray
- November 9, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.37:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English Language DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Joe Wilson, a wrongly jailed man thought to have died in a blaze started by a bloodthirsty lynch mob, is somehow alive. And dead to all he ever stood for and perhaps ever will. Because Joe aims to ensure his would-be executioners meet the fate Joe miraculously escaped. Spencer Tracy is Joe, Sylvia Sidney is his bride-to-be, and Fury lives up to its volatile name with its searing indictment of mob justice and lynching. In his first American film, director Fritz Lang (Metropolis, The Big Heat) combines a passion for justice and a sharp visual style into a landmark of social-conscience filmmaking. In the 49 years before this movie’s release, some 6,000 people in the U.S. were victims of lynch mobs. The fury over those tragedies – and over other injustices to come – remains. 

Video

Presented in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio, the new 1080p restoration gives the picture a nice and clear definition. Not much can be said for improvements on the contrast and grey scale, but everything that you need to see is clear enough, and any previous imperfections that the negative may have had is non-existent. Overall, a nice quality.

Audio

With the DTS-HD 2.0 mono soundtrack, you will here every hoot and holler from the mob as well as every vengeful line from Spencer Tracy. But you may need to crank the volume up!

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Commentary by Peter Bogdanovich with Audio

Special Features:

The extra feature included on the disc are rather scare, though very insightful and educational. We get a nice look into some analysis about the film, Lang’s particular experience and difficulties with making the film, and also some information about Lang’s style and methods of filmmaking.

  • Interview Excerpts of Director Fritz Lang
  • Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 2/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3/5 stars


Film Details

Fury (1936)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
92 mins
Director
: Fritz Lang
Writer:
Bartlett Cormack; Fritz Lang
Cast:
Sylvia Sidney; Spencer Tracy; Walter Abel
Genre
: Drama | Crime
Tagline:
TWO LOVERS...VICTIMS OF MOB VIOLENCE!
Memorable Movie Quote: ""I got you a little momentum." He meant memento."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 5, 1936
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 9, 2021.
Synopsis: When a wrongly accused prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to fake his death and frame the mob for his supposed murder.

Art

Fury (1936)

 

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