The Sound and the Fury (2014 film)

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The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury (2014 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Franco
Produced by Caroline Aragon
Lee Caplin
Vince Jolivette
Miles Levy
Screenplay by Matt Rager
Based on The Sound and the Fury
by William Faulkner
Starring James Franco
Scott Haze
Ahna O'Reilly
Joey King
Tim Blake Nelson
Music by Tim O'Keefe
Cinematography Bruce Thierry Cheung
Edited by Ian Olds
Distributed by New Films International
Release date
  • September 5, 2014 (2014-09-05) (Venice)
  • October 23, 2015 (2015-10-23) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1 million[1]

The Sound and the Fury is an American drama film directed by James Franco. It is the second film version of the novel of the same name by William Faulkner. The previous adaptation, directed by Martin Ritt, was released in 1959. The film was released in a limited release and through video on demand on October 23, 2015, by New Films International.[2]


The film focuses on the Compson family, and their struggles to adjust to the changing society of the 20th century Deep South, told from four different perspectives: the mentally handicapped Benjy Compson, the fragile intellectual Quentin, the vile Jason and his family's old black servant, Dilsey.


In an early interview with Franco in 2013, the director suggested he wanted Jon Hamm in the role of Mr. Compson. Hamm's schedule was too tight and the role ultimately went to Tim Blake Nelson, but in spite of this the story that Hamm was in the movie persisted. Even as late as the film's screening at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival some playbills still made this claim, and the posters had to be reprinted before opening.[7]


In January 2014, it was reported Keegan Allen, Tim Blake Nelson, Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Loretta DeVine, and Janet Gretzky had joined the cast of the film.[8]


The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 5, 2014.[9][10][11] It was selected to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 6, 2014. The film was scheduled to be released in a limited release and through video on demand on October 23, 2015.[2]


The film received mostly negative reviews from film critics, with many feeling that Franco was incapable of presenting such a complex novel in a cinematic fashion. Paul McInnis of The Guardian, writing from Toronto, said, 'Franco attempts to recreate the book's impressionistic style and complex structure. He makes a fist of it, but in concentrating so much on the art he fails to give the viewer any story or characters to care about.'[12]

Andrew Barker of Variety, felt that the film was "a folly, failing to capture the weird, entrancing, often maddening ambiance of the great writer’s elliptical masterpiece, and its surfeit of half-baked film-student flourishes and needless cameos occasionally give it an amateur-hour feel. But Franco nonetheless shows improvement over 2013’s As I Lay Dying, and well, it’s hard to fault him for trying."[13]

Currently, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 'rotten' rating of 25%.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d Spies, Mike. "What Happens When James Franco Directs a Movie?". Vocativ. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (October 19, 2015). "James Franco, Seth Rogen Drama 'The Sound and the Fury' Lands Release Date". Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  3. ^ Goodwin, Jess. "What Else Has Colin Hanks' Daughter on 'Fargo' Been In? You've Definitely Seen Joey King Before". Bustle. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  4. ^ Menza, Kaitlin. "OK! Next Big Deal: Meet Ahna O'Reilly, Star of Three Major 2013 Movies". Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  5. ^ Weisman, Jon. "10 Actors to Watch: Scott Haze Has Become James Franco's Go-To Guy". Variety. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  6. ^ "Bailey and Power APAC Student to Star in 'The Sound and the Fury' Movie". Jackson Public Schools. Archived from the original on May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  7. ^ Toronto Star, September 9, 2014, pg. E1
  8. ^ Kit, Borys. "'Pretty Little Liars' Star Keegan Allen Joins James Franco's 'The Sound and the Fury'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  9. ^ Van Hoeij, Boyd (September 5, 2014). "'The Sound and the Fury': Venice Review". Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  10. ^ "International competition of feature films". Venice. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  11. ^ "Venice Film Festival Lineup Announced". Deadline. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  12. ^ MacInnes, Paul (5 September 2014). "The Sound and the Fury review – failure to do justice to Faulkner's masterpiece". the Guardian.
  13. ^ Barker, Andrew (6 September 2014). "Toronto Film Review: 'The Sound and the Fury'".
  14. ^ "The Sound And The Fury".

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