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 drama 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, composed by Academy Award-winner John Williams and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, 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 Robin (Andrew Stevens), who was kidnapped by a secret intelligence organization inside the CIA led by Ben Childress (John Cassavetes). This organization kidnaps psychics to turn them into weapons in the service of the United States government. To better control the psychics, they also kill their families. Peter survived the attempt on his life, but his son believes he was killed by Arab terrorists. Childress's organization systematically experiments with Robin to increase his powers and develop the ability to control them, making him progressively more mentally unstable.
In the meantime, a teenage girl, Gillian Bellaver (Amy Irving), discovers that she possesses psychic powers, including telekinesis and extra-sensory perception, and that their uncontrolled manifestations are harming people who touch or provoke her. She volunteers to attend the Paragon Institute, which had been attended by Robin, and whose director, Dr. James McKeever (Charles Durning) also works for Ben Childress. During her training it is discovered that she has a psychic link with Robin, and that her psychic prowess is comparable to his. Upon learning this, Childress begins to plan the assassination of her family.
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 finally rendered him insane. Robin delights in torturing and killing his teacher with whom he is having a sexual relationship in order to manipulate him. Robin plans to torture Peter as well. The two have a confrontation in the upstairs bedroom of a mansion, during which they are thrown out of a window and fall to their deaths.
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, realizing his true intentions, finally embraces her psychic abilities and avenges Robin and Peter by exploding Childress 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