The Sound of Fury (1951)

90-93 mins | Drama | 15 January 1951

Director:

Cy Endfield

Writer:

Jo Pagano

Producer:

Robert Stillman

Cinematographer:

Guy Roe

Editor:

George Amy

Production Designer:

Perry Ferguson

Production Company:

Robert Stillman Productions, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Condemned . According to news stories and reviews, Jo Pagano's novel was based on the actual lynchings of two untried murderers who had confessed their crimes and were hanged on 26 Nov 1933 in San Jose, CA. Pagano, who also wrote the screen adaptation, stated that the film followed the actual events more closely than the novel. Location work was done in Phoenix, AZ, and students from Arizona State College were used as extras.
       The Sound of Fury was the first Robert Stillman Productions release. IFJ commented that the film contained "the realism and intensity that have marked the offerings of Stanley Kramer, with whom producer Robert Stillman previously was connected as associate producer." The picture was tested in five cities in Nov 1950 before its national release in Jan 1951. After the film did badly in its initial release, Stillman pulled it in Mar 1951 and changed the title to Try and Get Me! in all areas except Los Angeles and San Francisco, which had extensive ad campaigns using the original title. New York State censors demanded that the entire final reel of the film be deleted before showing it in that state. No information has been found that Stillman appealed the ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Condemned . According to news stories and reviews, Jo Pagano's novel was based on the actual lynchings of two untried murderers who had confessed their crimes and were hanged on 26 Nov 1933 in San Jose, CA. Pagano, who also wrote the screen adaptation, stated that the film followed the actual events more closely than the novel. Location work was done in Phoenix, AZ, and students from Arizona State College were used as extras.
       The Sound of Fury was the first Robert Stillman Productions release. IFJ commented that the film contained "the realism and intensity that have marked the offerings of Stanley Kramer, with whom producer Robert Stillman previously was connected as associate producer." The picture was tested in five cities in Nov 1950 before its national release in Jan 1951. After the film did badly in its initial release, Stillman pulled it in Mar 1951 and changed the title to Try and Get Me! in all areas except Los Angeles and San Francisco, which had extensive ad campaigns using the original title. New York State censors demanded that the entire final reel of the film be deleted before showing it in that state. No information has been found that Stillman appealed the ruling. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Dec 1950.
---
Cue
5 May 1951.
---
Daily Variety
6 Dec 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Dec 50
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
9 Dec 50
p. 196.
Harrison's Reports
23 Dec 50
p. 201.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 49
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 50
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jan 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 50
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 50
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Apr 50
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Apr 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Apr 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
1 May 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 50
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
8 May 50
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 50
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 50
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
26 May 50
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 1951.
---
Independent Film Journal
16 Dec 1950.
---
Los Angeles Times
21 May 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Dec 50
p. 605.
New York Times
7 May 51
p. 22.
The Exhibitor
6 Dec 50
p. 2982.
Variety
6 Dec 50
p. 15.
Variety
28 Mar 1951.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
COSTUMES
Men's ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Casting
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Condemned by Jo Pagano (New York, 1947).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Condemned
Try and Get Me!
Release Date:
15 January 1951
Premiere Information:
Test screenings in November 1950
Production Date:
May 1950 at Motion Picture Center
Copyright Claimant:
Robert Stillman Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 November 1950
Copyright Number:
LP718
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90-93
Length(in feet):
8,263
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14757
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Impoverished Howard Tyler decides to move his pregnant wife Judy and their young son Tommy from Massachusetts to the friendly town of Santa Sierra, California, to find his fortune working in the mines. Once there, however, Howard cannot find a job and the family's poverty deepens to the point where Judy cannot even afford a doctor to monitor her pregnancy. In his desperation, Howard meets a petty thief named Jerry Slocum and is easily convinced to work for him, helping him to commit a series of robberies. Convinced that the town is experiencing an incipient crime wave, publisher and editor of the Santa Sierra Journal Hal Clendenning assigns featured columnist Gil Stanton to sensationalize the new trend. Gil's friend, Italian scientist Dr. Vido Simone, who worked on early atomic experiments after Gil helped rescue him from the Nazis in occupied Italy, disapproves of Gil's articles, which he feels may encourage citizens to become vigilantes. Meanwhile, Howard uses the money that he has stolen to provide for his wife and son as he has never been able to do before, but despises himself more and more with each job. When Jerry suggests that they make a big score by kidnapping Donald E. Miller, scion of the city's richest family, Howard agrees, planning to make this crime his last. During the kidnapping, Jerry panics when part of their plan is foiled and decides to murder Donald with a boulder. Revolted by Jerry's brutality, Howard tries to grab the boulder from him, but in a psychotic fit, Jerry smashes Donald's skull, takes his tie pin, and throws his body into the lake. The next day, Jerry decides ... +


Impoverished Howard Tyler decides to move his pregnant wife Judy and their young son Tommy from Massachusetts to the friendly town of Santa Sierra, California, to find his fortune working in the mines. Once there, however, Howard cannot find a job and the family's poverty deepens to the point where Judy cannot even afford a doctor to monitor her pregnancy. In his desperation, Howard meets a petty thief named Jerry Slocum and is easily convinced to work for him, helping him to commit a series of robberies. Convinced that the town is experiencing an incipient crime wave, publisher and editor of the Santa Sierra Journal Hal Clendenning assigns featured columnist Gil Stanton to sensationalize the new trend. Gil's friend, Italian scientist Dr. Vido Simone, who worked on early atomic experiments after Gil helped rescue him from the Nazis in occupied Italy, disapproves of Gil's articles, which he feels may encourage citizens to become vigilantes. Meanwhile, Howard uses the money that he has stolen to provide for his wife and son as he has never been able to do before, but despises himself more and more with each job. When Jerry suggests that they make a big score by kidnapping Donald E. Miller, scion of the city's richest family, Howard agrees, planning to make this crime his last. During the kidnapping, Jerry panics when part of their plan is foiled and decides to murder Donald with a boulder. Revolted by Jerry's brutality, Howard tries to grab the boulder from him, but in a psychotic fit, Jerry smashes Donald's skull, takes his tie pin, and throws his body into the lake. The next day, Jerry decides to continue the kidnapping plan by mailing a ransom note and Miller's tie pin from a neighboring town. He brings along Howard and two women, Hazel Weatherman and Velma, so they will not look suspicious. Hazel, a naïve manicurist who admires Velma's ability to pick up men, instantly decides that she wants Howard, whom she believes is unmarried, even though he is so preoccupied with his own guilt that he pays no attention to her. During the evening, Howard mails the letter, without the tie pin, which he has lost. Later, feeling he cannot face Judy, he shows up drunk at Hazel's doorstep, causing her to assume that he cares for her. When the newspaper arrives, Hazel reads aloud about the murder, and is surprised when Howard reacts violently. As she tries to put him to bed, she discovers the tie pin in his pants cuff, and Howard breaks down and confesses his part in the crime. Seeing her horror, Howard chokes her in a momentary rage, but she breaks away and calls the police. Two days later, while Judy is in a panic over Howard's disappearance, the police arrive at the Tyler house and discover him hiding in the shed. After Howard's arrest, Dr. Simone criticizes Gil for sensationalizing the murder in his articles and making it more difficult for Howard and Jerry to get a fair trial. Although he theorizes that violence is a result of social ills, not human cruelty, Gil is unmoved until Judy visits and reads a touching letter in which a repentant Howard recounts his involvement in the crime and begs her to forget him. Later, Gil visits city hall, where Sheriff Lem Demig also criticizes him for provoking the townspeople. After a lynch mob gathers, Gil admits to himself that if Howard and Jerry now die, he will be directly responsible for it. As Demig removes all other prisoners from the jail to protect them, Gil confronts Howard, who forgives the writer and asks him to care for Judy and Tommy. Efforts to halt the lynching are futile, and the mob storms the prison, drags Howard and Jerry from their cells and hangs them from a nearby tree. Sometime later, Gil tells Demig that he will never forget his part in the horror, and will never let the people forget what they have done. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.