Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake
|Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake|
|Directed by||John Cromwell|
|Produced by||Darryl F. Zanuck|
|Written by||Edison Marshall (novel)
Philip Dunne (screenplay)
|Music by||Alfred Newman|
|Cinematography||Arthur C. Miller|
|Edited by||Walter Thompson|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$1.6 million (US rentals)|
Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake is a 1942 adventure film directed by John Cromwell, starring Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney. The film was adapted from Edison Marshall's 1941 historical novel Benjamin Blake. It is notable as the last film Frances Farmer appeared in before her legal problems and eventual commitment to psychiatric hospitals until 1950.
The story is set during the reign of King George III, in Bristol, England, where young Benjamin Blake (Roddy McDowall), son of the deceased Baronet of Breetholm is taken from his commoner grandfather, gunsmith Amos Kidder (Harry Davenport), and forced to serve his vengeful uncle, Sir Arthur Blake (George Sanders). Arthur inherited the title and land from his brother Godfrey, and fears that Ben may not have been born out of wedlock and might claim his inheritance. He compels the boy to become his ward and bonded servant, giving Arthur life-and-death power over the lad. Ben runs away to his grandfather, but rather than force the old man to live a life on the run, returns to Breetholm, vowing to endure whatever he must in order to one day prove himself a "true Blake" and recover his birthright.
Ben, now a young man (Tyrone Power), has fallen in love with Isabel (Frances Farmer), his cousin and Arthur's haughty and scheming daughter. Arthur discovers the relationship and thrashes Benjamin with his fists, knowing that he dare not resist. Ben confronts Arthur that night, but is threatened with jail for breaking into his room to assault him, a hanging offense. Ben flees arrest but his grandfather is imprisoned for helping Ben escape. Ben stows away on a ship bound for the South Seas, where he can make his fortune, prove his claim, and release his grandfather from prison. Ben is forced to join the ship's crew, but joins shipmate Caleb Green (John Carradine) in jumping ship at a Polynesian island. There he wins the trust of the native islanders, finds fortune (pearls), and takes a new love, a native girl he calls "Eve" (Gene Tierney). When a Dutch ship happens by, allowing them to fulfill their ambitions, Caleb discovers that the idyllic life in the islands is worth more than the pearls they have amassed, but Ben remains true to his vow and his imprisoned grandfather.
With their combined treasure, he returns to England under an assumed name to prove his birthright with the help of noted "man of influence," Bartholomew Pratt (Dudley Digges). Ben is betrayed after he goes to Breetholm to see Isabel, and is convicted by jury for the earlier offenses. Just as his death sentence is about to be pronounced, he is saved by Pratt, who proves that no crime was committed by showing that Ben's father and mother were married aboard a ship to India, and that "Sir Benjamin Blake" was in law the rightful baronet at the time. Ben discovers that it was Isabel who betrayed him and also repays the beating he received from Arthur. He emancipates the bonded tenants of Breetholm and divides the estate among them, deeding the manor house to his grandfather. Ben then returns to the Polynesian island to live out his life with Eve.
- Tyrone Power : Benjamin Blake
- Gene Tierney : Eve
- George Sanders : Sir Arthur Blake
- Frances Farmer : Isabel Blake
- Elsa Lanchester : Bristol Isabel
- Kay Johnson : Helena Blake
- John Carradine : Caleb Green
- Harry Davenport : Amos Kidder
- Dudley Digges : Bartholomew Pratt
- Roddy McDowall : Benjamin Blake as a boy
- Halliwell Hobbes : Purdy
- Ray Mala : Marnoa
- Cliff Severn : Paddy
- David Clyde : Shellback
- The DVD was released by Fox in 2007-05-01 in The Tyrone Power Collection