FURY (1936) B/W 90m dir: Fritz Lang
w/Spencer Tracy, Sylvia Sidney, Walter Abel, Bruce Cabot, Edward Ellis, Walter Brennan
German director Lang waited a year and a half before he made this, his first film in America The result is a sharp, terrifying study of mob hysteria as a town tries to lynch an innocent murder suspect. Also the first film produced for MGM by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
From Georges Sadoul's Dictionary of American Films : "'All converged into a bitter denunciation of mob violence. From the quiet beginning where Joe is picked up on the road, to the scenes of the hysteria of the mob and the burning jail and to the trial of the hypocritical townspeople, Lang's camera piled detail after detail from the point of view of the spectator, the victim, the community, and the law, making them an inspired commentary on bigotry, provincialism, and intolerance. An example of sharp characterization is the scene where Joe is being questioned by the Sheriff ... Again, during the burning of the jail we see a mother holding her child aloft to get a better view, a moronic adolescent hanging on to a vantage point and crying out gleefully, "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man," and a gaping boy biting into his hot dog as he shifts about for a better look at the conflagration' (Lewis Jacobs). This powerful indictment of mob violence and lynch law was Fritz Lang's first film in America and it matches the best films of his German period. Lang's belief in fate, in man's continual flight from culpability and death is reflected as clearly in Fury as it is in his German films."
Oscar-nominated for Best Original Story (Norman Krasna).