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Author Topic: The Sound of Fury (1950)  (Read 778 times)
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« on: January 24, 2013, 07:42:07 PM »

aka Try And Get Me

Director: Cy Endfield with Stars: Frank Lovejoy, Kathleen Ryan, Lloyd Bridges, Katherine Locke, Adele Jergens, Art Smith and Richard Carlson.  A pretty good Noir, with excellent claustrophobic cinematography that sort of morphs 3/4 of the way through into a message film, still pretty powerful stuff.  8/10

Frank Lovejoy & Lloyd Bridges



IMDb:

Still powerfull, after all these years
24 February 2001 | by bux (Tecumseh ok)

I saw this movie as a child, and had a chance to see it recently after more years than I want to admit. I know why it has stuck with me for so many years. This is powerful stuff, even by today's standards. Crime, punishment, yellow journalism, it is all addressed in this finely acted, fast paced drama. Bridges(like you've never seen him before!)turns in an acting 'tour de force' as the ego-maniac, demented hoodlum that kills without reason. Lovejoy is the husband and father caught up in a bad period of economics, Carlson the reporter that must learn that the power of the word is often as swift and deadly as that of the sword. This is high drama, done in the classic 50s film-noir tradition, it is must viewing for anyone that enjoyed "In Cold Blood"(1967)and movies of that genre.


Lloyd Bridges



streaming on Netflix

« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 08:26:10 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 06:17:18 AM »

Pretty good movie. Loosely based on the 1933 Brooke Hart murder case and subsequent lynching of the suspected killers in San Jose, CA, which also inspired Fritz Lang's Fury and a few recent movies.

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Cy Endfield's Try and Get Me! (1950) (also known as The Sound of Fury) is one of the most angry, bitter and cynical films noir out there, which is saying something. A heavily-fictionalized telling of the infamous Brooke Hart murder and lynching, it uses the case to a cast a grim light on post-war America as an unfeeling, materialistic place easily whipped into a violent frenzy.

Howard Tyler (Frank Lovejoy) is a decent guy who can't catch a break. He already has one kid by his wife Judy (Kathleen Ryan) and she's pregnant again. While bumming around town, Howard runs into Jerry Slocum (Lloyd Bridges), a charismatic hood who convinces Howard to join his small-time criminal enterprise. The two graduate from petty robberies into the big time when they kidnap a local college student for ransom - though Jerry complicates things by deliberately murdering him. As the two languish in jail, journalist Gil Stanton (Richard Carlson) writes sensational stories that inflame the townspeople, until a mob of thousands gathers outside the jail to avenge the murder.

In 1933, college student Brooke Hart was kidnapped and murdered by two petty criminals in San Jose, California. The two were arrested, but fear that they might be let off for a legal technicality whipped the townspeople into blind rage. A crowd of 6,000 men, women and children stormed the jail, beat off the sheriff's deputies and lynched the two criminals. Only one of the mob was ever tried, and California Governor Sonny Rolfe, who had refused to dispatch National Guard troops to guard the jail, openly praised the mob in interviews. It's one of the most shameful and repulsive events in modern American history, and makes for a great social drama.

At least four movies have been inspired by the incident, including two recent indie films. Fritz Lang's Fury (1936) used the case for an overwrought, contrived allegory condemning revenge. Try and Get Me! is no less angry than Lang's film, but lacks its silly story and feverish speechmaking. Unlike Fury and The Ox-Bow Incident, it's notsomuch an anti-lynching tract as a stark criticism of American society.

Endfield and writer Joe Pagano paint a decidedly ugly picture of America. Howard's a basically decent guy who is driven to crime by desperation, the purest form of liberal, Hollywood criminology. The gossiping, materialistic townspeople are indifferent to his plight and readily turn on him when the crime. The film saves its strongest venom for the media: a local newspaper runs sensationalist stories about the crime spree, providing a catalyst for the lynching. (The media blowing a story way out of proportion? Say it ain't so!) As in the real case, a gaggle of college students are prominent in the lynch mob, joining ordinary townspeople to transform a grim lynching into a fun night on the town.

On an entirely different level is the Howard-Jerry dynamic, an odd bundle of nerves and neuroses. Their relationship owes much to Leopold and Loeb, with the cagey, very masculine Jerry dominating the weak-willed, wimpy Howard. A bizarrely homoerotic scene early on makes explicit that contemporary films like Rope only hinted at. And it's very much to Endfield's credit that, unlike Fury and other similar films (The Bravados, anyone?) the two crooks are unquestionably guilty. Aside from In Cold Blood's pair of psycho killers, it's hard to think of a more twisted and hateful criminal duo.

The film isn't without flaws. Endfield's leftism gets away from him at times, and the movie can't help but make its share of Stanley Kramer-ish speeches. An Italian professor (Renzo Casana) lectures the other characters on the "root causes" of crime and violence. The exchanges between the mob and the police at film's end turn into an obvious mess of author's messages, and the scenes with a blind preacher haranguing the townspeople clunk. Such obnoxiousness is the stock and trade of "message films," and perhaps oughtn't be criticized too much. What counts is the material surrounding these bits, and Try and Get Me! is otherwise a solid film.

Director Cy Endfield is best-remembered for Zulu, his iconic British war epic, but in 1950 he was an up-and-coming Hollywood director fresh off his biggest hit, The Underworld Story. A year after Try and Get Me!, Endfield was hauled before HUAC, and spent the rest of his career abroad, Hollywood's loss and Britain's gain.

Endfield's direction is masterful. The film has a wonderful air of claustrophobia, with Guy Roe's tight photography (heavy use of Dutch angles) and George Amy's sharp editing creating a remarkably oppressive film. The lynching finale is a remarkable set-piece, using a cast of hundreds to simulate a chillingly real and horrifying act of mob violence. It's a savage and brutal climax, and our protagonists don't stand a chance.

Frank Lovejoy makes a fine protagonist, completely believable as the desperate, destitute Everyman dragged into a life of crime. Stealing the show, however, is Lloyd Bridges, who was never better than here. His Jerry is a truly repulsive character, a creature of passions with no remorse for his crime and no concern about consequences. The beautiful Kathleen Ryan (Odd Man Out) is perfectly cast as Howard's tragic wife.

Try and Get Me! is a remarkably unique film, and it's a real shame that the film's not more readily available. Thank God for Netflix I suppose. 8/10

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2011/01/try-and-get-me.html

The true story here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooke_Hart

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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 06:18:25 AM »

Also this book, a really excellent account of the lynchings.

http://www.amazon.com/Swift-Justice-Murder-Vengeance-California/dp/0312089015

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