The Fury (1978 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian De Palma|
|Produced by||Frank Yablans|
|Screenplay by||John Farris|
by John Farris
|Music by||John Williams|
|Cinematography||Richard H. Kline|
|Edited by||Paul Hirsch|
Frank Yablans Presentations
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$24 million|
The Fury is a 1978 supernatural horror film directed by Brian De Palma. The screenplay by John Farris was based on his 1976 novel of the same name. The film stars Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Carrie Snodgress, Charles Durning, Amy Irving 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, searches for his son Robin (Andrew Stevens), who is kidnapped by PSI, a secret intelligence organization inside the CIA run by ruthless Ben Childress (John Cassavetes), Peter's former friend.
This organization kidnaps psychics to use their power as weapons in the service of the United States government. The achievement of the psychics' management and control is by the elimination of their families. Childress gains the trust of Peter and subjects Robin to this treatment. Robin incorrectly believes his father killed by Muslim terrorists. Robin is taken away by Childress on the pretext of providing protection from the terrorists and to later manipulate him. Childress' organization then systematically experiments to increase Robin's powers, and to control father and son. Robin's mental instability increases.
A teenage girl, Gillian Bellaver (Amy Irving), discovers her own psychic powers, including telekinesis and extra-sensory perception. The uncontrolled manifestations of these powers cause harm to people that physically touch or provoke her. She volunteers to attend the Paragon Institute, as had Robin, and the director is Dr. James McKeever (Charles Durning), a colleague of Ben Childress. Her development at the institute uncovers her psychic link with Robin, and a psychic prowess that is comparable to his. She is to be kidnapped and her family eliminated.
Peter finds out about Gillian through his girlfriend Hester (Carrie Snodgress), who works at the clinic.[clarification needed] He manages to warn her through Hester and to break her out, in the process of which Hester accidentally dies. Together they track Robin to Chicago, where Childress' ruthless experiments make him insane. Robin delights in torturing and killing his teacher in revenge for her seduction of him and using her sexuality to experiment and manipulate him. Robin intends to torture Peter because he suspects Peter's involvement in the experiments. Childress enables Robin to follow through in order to eliminate them. There is a confrontation between the two in an upstairs bedroom of a mansion. Their deaths happen when both are thrown out of the bedroom window and fall to the ground.
Robin lingers a bit before finally dying and seems to make some form of psychic contact with Gillian; he transfers his powers to her with the implied message to save herself from Childress and avenge his death. The next morning, Childress approaches Gillian to accept his "help". She understands his long-term intentions, embraces her psychic abilities and avenges the deaths of Robin and Peter by exploding Childress internally.
- 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
- 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
- Daryl Hannah as Pam
- Dennis Franz as Bob Eggleston
- Jim Belushi as Beach Bum (uncredited)
Parts of this film used the grounds at Old Chicago of Bolingbrook, Illinois, a now-defunct amusement park. The scene at the hotel when Kirk Douglas escapes the agents took place in a room at the now-defunct Plymouth Hotel, the same room and hotel used in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.
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 two."
Reception & Accolades
- The film features the debut performances of Dennis Franz, Daryl Hannah and Laura Innes. Franz plays a cop driving a car hijacked by Douglas' character. Hannah plays a student at a school attended by Irving's character.
- Jim Belushi appears as an extra.