The Fury (1978 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian De Palma|
|Produced by||Frank Yablans|
|Screenplay by||John Farris|
|Based on||The Fury
by John Farris
|Music by||John Williams|
|Cinematography||Richard H. Kline|
|Edited by||Paul Hirsch|
Frank Yablans Presentations
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
The Fury is a 1978 supernatural thriller film directed by Brian De Palma. The film was written by John Farris, based on his novel of the same name. It starred Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Carrie Snodgress, Amy Irving, Charles Durning and Andrew Stevens. The music was composed by Academy Award-winner John Williams and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. It was highly praised by critic Pauline Kael, who called it "as elegant and delicately varied a score as any horror film has ever had".
Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas), a former CIA agent, is searching for his son, who was kidnapped by a secret intelligence organisation inside the CIA lead by Ben Childress. This organization kidnaps psychics to turn them into weapons in the service of the United States government. To achieve this, they also kill their families to have them in their grasp correspondingly, which "forced" them to try to kill Peter, too, an attempt which failed. Still they were able to gain the trust of his son, kidnap him and make him believe, that he was killed by Arab terrorists. After that they begin to systematically experiment with him to increase his powers and give him the ability to control them, experiments which are horrible for him, but is pushed to endure them anyway because of corresponding manipulations regarding his needs, which have no counterbalance because of his isolation. In the meantime, a teenage girl, Gillian Bellaver (Amy Irving), discovers that she possesses psychic powers, including telekinesis and extra-sensory perception, but that other people suffer bleeding if they touch her because of her extreme poweful electromagnetic brainwaves. She volunteers to attend the Paragon Institute, where Robin also was and whose director, Dr. James McKeever (Charles Durning) also works for Ben Childress (John Cassavetes). It turns out, that Gillian had psychic contact with Robin. When Childress realises she is as powerful as Robin, he decides to do the same stunt with her as he did with Robin. Peter finds out about Gillian and through his girlfriend Hester (Carrie Snodgress), who works at the clinic, he manages to establish contact with Gillian and warn her. He manages to break her out and together they track Robin to Chicago, where Childress's ruthless experiments have damaged the young man's mind and finally rendered him insane. The boy and Peter both die within minutes of their reunion. As he dies, Robin has some form of psychic contact with Gillian, in which he transfers his powers to her with the implied message to flee from Childress and avenge his death. When Childress later tries to persuade Gillian to accept his "help", she, realising his true intentions, finally embraces her psychic abilities and attained abilities and, to avenge Peter's and Robin's deaths, kills Childress by exploding him from the inside out.
- Kirk Douglas as Peter Sandza
- John Cassavetes as Ben Childress
- Carrie Snodgress as Hester
- Charles Durning as Dr. Jim McKeever
- Amy Irving as Gillian Bellaver
- Fiona Lewis as Dr. Susan Charles
- Andrew Stevens as Robin Sandza
- Carol Rossen as Dr. Ellen Lindstrom
- Rutanya Alda as Kristen
- Joyce Easton as Katharine Bellaver
- William Finley as Raymond Dunwoodie
- Daryl Hannah as Pam
- Jane Lambert as Vivian Nuckells
- Sam Laws as Blackfish
- J. Patrick McNamara as Robertson
- Alice Nunn as Mrs. Callahan
- Melody Thomas Scott as La Rue
- Hilary Thompson as Cheryl
- Patrick Billingsley as Lander
- J. P. Bumstead as Greene
Parts of this feature were filmed at Old Chicago of Bolingbrook, Illinois, a now defunct amusement park. The scene in which Kirk Douglas escapes the agents at the hotel were filmed at the now defunct Plymouth Hotel, the same hotel and room used in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.
In order to realistically show Cassavetes exploding at the climax like the 1977 film Black Sunday (also composed by John Williams), Cassavetes stood on the set convulsing and bleeding until a lamp fell down creating a split-second white flash on the screen. Then a quick edit is done replacing Cassavetes with a lifesized rigged dummy exploding shot at several different angles. In an interview with The Talks, De Palma said that he had 8 or 9 high-speed cameras to film Cassavetes exploding. "The first time we did it, it didn't work. The body parts didn't go towards the right cameras and this whole set was covered with blood. And it took us almost a week to get back to do take 2."
- The film features early performances by Dennis Franz (in his debut), Daryl Hannah and Laura Innes. Franz plays a cop driving a car hijacked by Douglas' character and gets about ten minutes of screen time and numerous lines. Hannah plays a student at a school attended by Irving's character and gets about five minutes of screen time and almost no lines.
- Jim Belushi appears as an extra; his appearance becoming a topic many years later on David Letterman's show when he was a guest.
- The Fury at the Internet Movie Database
- The Fury at AllMovie
- The Fury at the TCM Movie Database
- The Fury at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Carolyn Jackson Collection, no. 30 - Interview with Brian De Palma