Black Fury (film)
|Directed by||Michael Curtiz|
|Produced by||Hal B. Wallis (uncredited executive producer)
Jack L. Warner (uncredited executive producer)
|Written by||Michael A. Musmanno (story)
Harry R. Irving (play)
|Distributed by||Warner Brothers|
Black Fury is a 1935 American crime film starring Paul Muni, Karen Morley, and William Gargan. It was adapted by Abem Finkel and Carl Erickson from the short story "Jan Volkanik" by Judge Michael A. Musmanno and the play Bohunk by Harry R. Irving. Directed by Michael Curtiz, the plot is based on a historic incident in 1929 in Pennsylvania, in which Mike Shemanski, a striking coal miner, was beaten to death by private company police.
In 1966, Musmanno published a novel version of the screenplay. It was published as Black Fury.
Set in Pennsylvania coal country, the film tells the story of Joe Radek, a miner who has come from immigrants. Upset after an argument with his girlfriend, he drinks and attends a union meeting, where he acts as a catalyst to splitting the radical and conservative factions; they decide to go out on strike. During violence by the Coal and Iron Police, his best friend is killed.
- Paul Muni as Joe Radek
- Karen Morley as Anna Novak
- William Gargan as Slim Johnson
- Barton MacLane as McGee
- John Qualen as Mike Shemanski
- J. Carrol Naish as Steve Croner
- Tully Marshall as Tommy Poole
- Henry O'Neill as John W. Hendricks
- Joseph Crehan as Johnny Farrell
- Mae Marsh as Mrs. Mary Novak
Judge Michael Musmanno prosecuted three company police for the murder of Mike Shemanski, "an innocent miner," at Imperial, Pennsylvania, in 1929. Later he wrote a short story, "Jan Volkanik," about the incident. This and the play Bohunk, by Harry R. Irving, were adapted for the film in a screenplay written by Abem Finkel and Carl Erickson.
The critic for The New York Times wrote, "Magnificently performed by Paul Muni, it comes up taut against the censorial safety belts and tells a stirring tale of industrial war in the coal fields." The film was "banned in several sectors." He described it as "the most notable American experiment in social drama since Our Daily Bread.'"
- In 1936, a year in which the Academy Awards accepted write-in votes, Paul Muni came in second for Best Actor for his performance.
- ANDRE SENNWALD, Review: Black Fury, New York Times, 11 April 1935, accessed 12 September 2013
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Black Fury (film).|
- Black Fury at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Black Fury at the TCM Movie Database
- Black Fury at the Internet Movie Database
- Black Fury at AllMovie