The Fury

1978

The Fury

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 25

50%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,180
User image

The Fury Photos

Movie Info

Brian De Palma returns to the mind-blowing potential of telekinesis in the follow-up to his 1976 horror hit Carrie. While vacationing with his psychic son, Robin (Andrew Stevens), and close associate Childress (John Cassavetes), government agent Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas) survives a terrorist attack, only to discover that it was staged by Childress so he could kidnap Robin for his own nefarious purposes. With the assistance of another psychic (William Finley) and Hester (Carrie Snodgress), an employee at the Paragon Institute for Psychic Research, Peter discovers a telekinetic Chicago high-school girl named Gillian (Amy Irving), who may be able to help him find Robin. Even though they have never met, Gillian can see Robin's memories and experiences telepathically, and she knows that he is in trouble. But Childress knows all about Gillian, too, and he is not about to let Peter's paternal quest get in the way of his plans for harnessing their psychic power. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Watch it now

Cast

Kirk Douglas
as Peter Sandza
John Cassavetes
as Childress
Amy Irving
as Gillian Bellaver
Andrew Stevens
as Robin Sandza
Fiona Lewis
as Dr. Susan Charles
Charles Durning
as Dr. Jim McKeever
Carol Eve Rossen
as Dr. Ellen Lindstrom
Joyce Easton
as Katharine Bellaver
William Finley
as Raymond Dunwoodie
Jane Lambert
as Vivian Knuckells
Sam Laws
as Blackfish
Felix Shuman
as Dr. Ives
Bernie Kuby
as Nuckles
Alice Nunn
as Mrs. Callahan
Rutanya Alda
as Kristen
Frank Yablans
as Goon on Radio
Jerome Anthony Hawkins
as Chase #1 Shotgun
John Roche
as Drunk (Van Buren)
Gordon Jump
as Nuckells
Harold C. Johnson
as Garbage Man
Al Wyatt
as Security Agent Driver
Marshall Colt
as Technician
Stephen Johnson
as Technician
Tom Blair
as Top Guy #1
View All

Critic Reviews for The Fury

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (1)

Audience Reviews for The Fury

  • Apr 05, 2019
    More than 40 years after first seeing this Brian DePalma sci-fi, horror, drama I returned to it to see how he holds up. Douglas overacts, Cassavetes underperforms as the villain and the movie feels like a museum piece. For DePalma lovers the film is a must for others wait for a re-make.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2013
    When a fledgling director has a financial hit, they are often given more money and told to do the same thing again. Sometimes this can be a good thing, even when taken to its most literal extreme, in the case of Evil Dead 2. But when Brian De Palma sought to repeat the form of Carrie, he wasn't quite so fortunate. The Fury is an odd and disjointed little film, buoyed up by its most Carrie-esque elements but also let down by the thriller that surrounds it. Every aspect of the film's central problem can be found in the opening scene. We get a nice, comfortable dramatic opening, with a typically understated turn by John Cassavetes and Kirk Douglas downplaying things a little bit. De Palma also works in some camera tricks that are unusual but generally gel, such the nice use of panning shots as father and son sit round the table. Then the fire-fight happens, Douglas turns into an action hero, and it all gets pretty damn silly. The developments come so thick and fast that it all seems ludicrous, with first the revelation of Cassevetes changing sides and then the news that everything we just saw was staged. For the first hour of its running time, The Fury resembles two very different films, running side by side. One film is a new take on Carrie, in which a young girl finds she has telekinetic powers - the twist being that she causes people to bleed whenever she touches them. The other is a silly thriller involving Kirk Douglas trying to track down his son, who is now being experimented on by the US government to turn him into a weapon. As charismatic as Douglas normally is, the story he's in is so goofy that for once he's not the one we want to see on screen. The first story, involving the telekinetic girl, is very interesting. It takes the basic conceit of Carrie (a girl discovering she has telekinetic powers) and remoulds it into a similar but equally distinctive story about adolescence and teenage rage. While Stephen King's story is about a young girl rebelling against the oppressive influence of religion, this is more a story of alienation, taking things much closer to the territory of X-Men. Gillian combines Jean Grey's immense psychic power with the insecurity of Rogue, while Robin's rebellious and impulsive streak exhibits traits of both Wolverine and Magneto. The X-Men comparisons continue by the change in setting. While Carrie is set primarily in a high school, and centres on the relationships between different teenage girls, The Fury spends much of its time with Gillian in the institute, where she is observed and tested by Charles Durning, best known for playing Snyder in The Sting. Where Carrie is isolated against her will, being already unpopular and not conventionally beautiful, Gillian consents to her special treatment on the grounds that it will help to explain her powers. But even the higher levels of security do not ensure she has control, and like Carrie there is a question up until the end of whether she commands her powers or the other way around. This part of the film is grounded by the brilliant central performance of Amy Irving. Irving had a significant role as Sue Snell in Carrie, who wakes up screaming from a nightmare involving Carrie in the film's final scene; she clearly knows the territory very well, and draws on her experience to make this role her own. Irving plays the terror of the character so compellingly that we really feel for her even when she's causing horrible things to happen to people. It's a performance every bit as powerful as Sissy Spacek's, and that's no mean feat. As good as Irving is, however, she has to contend with a second story which is almost parodic in nature. Even if we set aside our expectations of Douglas (i.e. at 62, he's too old to be an action star), the scenes involving his character are so over-the-top that he's almost impossible to take seriously. As a typical example, he throws off his FBI tail by breaking into the apartment of an elderly couple, rubbing mayonnaise into his hair and shoving a sofa cushion down his trousers so he can look like an old man. Having thrown off his tail on foot, Douglas holds up a cop car, asking the two officers to drive around until he loses a car that is following him. Having been followed to the docks and lost his other tail, Douglas proceeds to drive the car into the water, and then calls up a contact from a payphone. His contact recognises his voice, but he pretends to be a heavy-breathing pervert on the off-chance that her line is tapped. There is nothing in this section that couldn't have made into Naked Gun or Fatal Instinct, right down to an unintentionally hilarious one-liner; when a cop asked what happened to Cassavetes' arm, Douglas retorts: "I killed it." In the midst of all this, De Palma somehow finds time to work in a number of Hitchcock references. Dependent on the scene or storyline, he's either doing this to try and give the silly moments weight, or as a passing note of thanks in the midst of something important. You could argue that the FBI's pursuit of Douglas is something of a wrong man plot, and that therefore the film nods to North by Northwest or The 39 Steps. But the homages don't make the goofy scenes any less so; if anything it makes the Hitchcock motifs look like parody, as though we had wandered out of Vertigo and into High Anxiety. Having juggled two stories up to this point - one intriguing, one utterly silly - the film starts to mesh together around the hour mark. One by one the different plot threads become intertwined in a way which makes sense on paper and comes across just about well enough to keep us in the main flow. The side effect of the stories meshing, however is that it makes us wonder how it would have been to have viewed the whole story from Gillian's POV, with her growing psychic ability causing her to slowly uncover more details of the mystery or conspiracy. That would have been more narratively disciplined and strengthened Irving's character even further. As it is, what we get is something as enjoyably silly as The Boys from Brazil with bits of Carrie and X-Men thrown in where it can. The substance of Gillian's storyline helps to bring the sillier aspects down to earth a tad, giving some weight to Peter's predicament and a sense of pathos about the death of his son. The scene where Robin causes the fairground to malfunction with his powers would have a lot less impact if De Palma had made no prior attempt to connect his character with Gillian. On the other hand, the film never quite fulfils on the promise of Gillian's section, and for all the pyrotechnics and the John Williams score, there is a tinge of disappointment that her arc was not made the centrepiece over that of a spoilt child. Having balanced elements of spy thriller, comic book and horror up to this point, the ending of The Fury takes things steadily further into horror territory. As Peter grows more powerful his rage manifests itself in more destructive ways, beginning with the fairground and culminating in him giving a powerful haemorrhage to the woman he loved. After the death of him and his father, there is a moment of calm before Gillian wakes up with Ben sitting at the end of her bed, about to make her his prisoner. The film then follows in Carrie's footsteps with one last big shock, only this time we are in full-on body horror territory. Gillian accepts her powers and uses them to explode Ben from the inside out, in a sequence that would have been David Cronenberg proud. The Fury is an odd and flawed yet strangely compelling film. From a structural point of view it's as much of a compelling mess as Phantom of the Paradise, and in attempting to reconcile its storylines, it doesn't deliver quite the amount of substance we need. But it's still worth seeing, whether for the intriguing and gripping moments involving Amy Irving, or for an unintentional laugh. It's not Carrie, not by a mile, but you could do a hell of a lot worse.
    Daniel M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 09, 2010
    An enjoyable well-made thriller from the late 70s by Brian DePalma, It begins in the mid-east where Kirk Douglas in fine shape as an ex-operative named Peter Sandza, who worked for a super-secret unnamed agency for the U.S. government, Douglas delivers a solid star performance in the role, Peter is on vacation with his beloved son Robin who possesses a powerful psychic gift, he is well-played by young Andrew Stevens, also with them is a old friend and associate named Childress, superbly played by the late John Cassavetes, Peter informs Robin that he is being sent by the agency to a special institute for people who like him have a psychic ability, suddenly from the bench boats appear with masked men firing machine guns, killing many of people at the beach resort, during the shootout Robin gets separated from his father, Childress holds Robin back as the terrorist began to fire at Peter, he shouts out to Childress to get Robin away from the beach, Peter tries to get away on a motorboat which blown up by the terrorists, but survives and sees that Childress staged the attack so he could kidnap Robin, he picks up a machine gun and shoots him hitting him several times in the arm, but Childress gets away with Robin, he wants Peter's son so can try to harness his psychic powers as a weapon of mass destruction. Peter is determined to get his son back so he goes underground and disappears.
    Danny R Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    I didn't get to see the whole movie, but it seemed okay from what I saw. The story is good and pretty interesting, I really want to see the rest of this movie.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

The Fury Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features