Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Fury from 1978

Over the weekend I rewatched Brian DePalma's 1978 film The Fury. It had been decades since I last saw it and I wonder if I ever saw it fully uncut. I do recall reading the novel upon which it is based after I saw the film on TV in my impressionable youth.
As usual with most DePalma movies, there are fantastic camera angles, interesting little editing tricks, and the story clips right along. The acting is good throughout, with a few wonderfully hammy bits from Kirk Douglas. Gordon Jump is fantastic in one brief scene as an exasperated Chicagoan taking care of "Mother Knuckles" ( which sounds more than a little dirty ). See if you recognize a thin, and hirsute Dennis Franz in one of his first roles. Perhaps it was "The Fury" that first typecast him as a big-city cop.
One of the things that surprised me about the movie though is the soundtrack by none other than John Williams who's mostly known for doing the soundtrack for everything ever. In "The Fury" though, his score is decidedly cheesy and almost laughable at times. I am not familiar with his entire body of work, but it makes me curious to see if some of his lesser-known works would also veer towards the cheese. Apart from a couple of special effects that were probably good for their time, the whole film really works. It is about two hours long, but it feels closer to a standard 80 or 90 minutes, with little fat or unnecessary exposition. Oh, and Amy Irving is smoking hot in it too, which was a wonderful surprise to me. I guess when I watched it before I was more concerned with how the SFX makeup looked. Ah youth....

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