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Furies

Barbara Stanwyck , Wendell Corey , Anthony Mann    Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 42.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful photography! July 11 2010
Format:DVD
While I found the story of the Furies unexceptional, I was blown away by the brilliant photography and art work by Victor Milner, Hans Dreier and Henry Bumstead. Filmed in black and white, it's obvious that great care went into setting up and shooting this movie, particularly the scenic outdoor shots.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walter Huston's last film and a great Western March 23 2008
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This film about the feud between a megalomaniac rancher T.C. Jeffords(Walter Huston) and his daughter Vance (Barbara Stanwyck) is an unusual but excellent western. Jeffords and his daughter have a complex relationship with even a hint of the sordid that had to remain unstated in 1950, when this film was made. In middle age T.C. takes a wife, Flo (Judith Anderson). Vance sees Flo as a threat to her relationship with Daddy, and in an angry moment hurls a pair of scissors at Flo's face. In revenge T.C. kills someone who means a great deal to his daughter, the squatter Herrara (Gilbert Roland).

From this moment forward the battle between father and daughter shifts from being one of violence to one of wits. Wendell Corey plays Rip Darrow, Stanwyck's love interest in this film. He quickly finds that as long as Daddy is alive that he will always come in second. Daddy has ownership of all of the emotions Vance has to give - both love and hate.

This film is basically a film noir played out on a Western landscape. It is often "Mourning Becomes Electra" from the father/daughter angle versus mother and son. Directed by Anthony Mann, maker of the thinking person's Westerns, it is a shame that Walter Huston did not live to see the release of this - his final film - in which he gives so great a performance.
The following is the list of special features for this release:

New, restored high-definition digital transfer
Audio commentary featuring film historian Jim Kitses (Horizons West)
A rare, 1931 on-camera interview with Walter Huston, made for the movie theater series Intimate Interviews
New video interview with Nina Mann, daughter of director Anthony Mann
Stills gallery of rare behind-the-scenes photos
Theatrical trailer
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Robin Wood ans a 1957 Cahiers du cinéma interview with Mann, as well as a new printing of Niven Busch's original novel
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Western Given the Deluxe Treatment! July 7 2008
By Cubist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Director Anthony Mann made the important transition from film noir B movies to westerns in 1950 with three films: Winchester '73, Devil's Doorway, and The Furies. The last film was an ambitious big budget mix of western and women's melodrama with a fascinating dash of psychological subtext. At its heart is a startlingly complex performance from Barbara Stanwyck.

While The Furies has all the iconography of a western, it more resembles a psychological drama and as such, it is quite an achievement that Mann was able to make it within the Hollywood studio system.

There is an audio commentary by film historian Jim Kitses. He talks about how the film evokes a blend of gothic romance, film noir and the western. He makes a convincing case for Anthony Mann as an auteur and how his thematic preoccupations elevate this film above genre conventions. Kitses expertly analyzes the director's style and how it informs the characters and their motivations. This is a solid, informative track.

"Action Speaks Louder Than Words" is an excerpt from a 1967 interview with Mann for British television. He talks about his beginnings in the theatre and how he broke into the film business. Mann also talks about some of the filmmakers that influenced him in this excellent interview.

"Intimate Interviews: Walter Huston" is a rare interview with the veteran actor who comes across as a larger than life figure as was his reputation. It is a playful yet odd interview as he gives little away.

"Nina Mann Interview" features the actress and daughter of Anthony Mann as she talks about her father and his films, in particular, The Furies. She points out that he refused to have stereotypical heroes and villains in his films and this was readily evident in this film.

Also included is a theatrical trailer.

There is a Stills Gallery with a nice collection of behind-the-scenes photographs of the cast and crew at work.

Finally, in a nice touch, Niven Busch's source novel is included which is a wonderful extra the Criterion Collection has done in the past (i.e. The Man Who Fell to Earth - Criterion Collection) and hopefully one that they will continue in the future.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fury of Stanwyck June 28 2008
By Richard J. Marino - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a great "noir western" starring Barbara Stanwyck, whose name is synonoymous with Westerns and Noirs. The underlying theme and truths of Father- Daughter love and hate, with the need and love of land and family legacy. Here Stanwyck is Vance Jeffords, the only person who can run and manage the "Furies", thousands of acres of ranch and cattle, besides her father. Torn between love for Rip Darrow, an enemy of her father's, as well as Juanito, a Mexican squatter and one at war with her father.
The pairing of Wendell Corey (Rip) and Stanwyck takes a little getting used to. They were much better matched in the File on Thelma Jordan. Their romance is challenged by her devotion to and later on hate for her father, played by the great Walter Huston in his last movie.
When Stanwyck received the AFI's lifetime achievement award in 1987, John Huston saluted her with the words his father said after the movie rapped.
"I just made a great film with a great and wonderful actress and lady"; referring to Stanwyck.
This movie was not well received when it was first released due to the times (1950) when people were not about to accept a tough and mannish woman (aptly named Vance) having difficult times with her father, as well as two romances; one with a Mexican and she kisses him on the mouth!!
This movie has been re-digitalized and I can say as one who had taped it years ago on AMC, this is a fine and clean print. The original book by Niven Busch is added, Also Criterion always has extra adds on the DVD that are worth seeing. You will not forget this movie anytime soon and know why it is becoming a
cult fav.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Furious Nov. 2 2008
By Clare Quilty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
In one year, 1950, director Anthony Mann made four films: There was the crisp Farley Granger noir adventure "Side Street" plus three Westerns, including "Devil's Doorway," the rousing classic "Winchester '73" and "The Furies."

That's how you hustle, and for any filmmaker that's a damn good year.

That last title, "The Furies," refers to a sprawling southwestern ranch owned by the proud, controlling blowhard T.C. Jeffords (Walter Huston in his last role, one year after winning an Oscar for "Treasure of the Sierra Madre.").

During the course of the film, the main characters refer to the estate often but it is never called "the ranch," "the property" or even "our land."

It's always called "The Furies," and as if to underscore the self-consciousness of the conceit, most of the people who say it seem to be resisting the urge to lick their lips immediately afterward.

But the film's three principal characters tote their own serious grudges, so while it's a clumsy subtext, the title could also refer to these agents of vengeance. Bastards, the set of them, but in the end sympathetic as well.

Barbara Stanwyck stars as Jeffords' daughter Vance, whose devotion to her father is second only to her fondness for standing in boots and jeans with her gloved fists pressed defiantly into her hips. That stance is basically how she lives and she lives to work the ranch (er ... I mean, The Furies). Surely that's not too much to ask, is it?

My facetiousness aside, this is a wonderful and frequently astonishing film. I kid because the movie is a breathless mix of influences and high emotions -- there's Sophocles here, and a lot of King Lear and sundry other Shakespeare. It's also Wellesian -- the Jeffords could be southwestern cousins to the Ambersons. But there are also hints of "Dallas" and "Falcon Crest," as well as other more serious but still-soapy fare in which doomed offspring stand beneath towering portraits of their parents.

Despite Mann's eventual seminal Westerns, however, "The Furies" seems more like Sam Fuller than, say, "The Naked Spur" or even "Man of the West" -- it has Fuller's grit and shrewdness and his tendency toward the baroque. That is, in part, because producer Hal Wallis didn't want to pay for Technicolor so -- highly unusual for a Western of this time -- he ordered the movie shot in black-and-white.

That decision absolutely sealed the film's greatness because Mann, with cinematographer Victor Milner, created a nightmarishly beautiful landscape as a backdrop. With some exceptions, the exteriors are largely shot day-for-night, even in cases where it's supposed to be daytime -- most of the scenes seem to exist in that alien space where the cattle drive began in "Red River." The sky is almost always stark and bleak and strewn with beautiful clouds and the desert is always somewhat shadowy and peopled with the silhouettes of riders. This lends the melodrama the air of isolation and purgatory; it transforms The Furies everyone wants so badly into a wasteland and makes "The Furies" something of a ghost story that is all the more unsettling because it's so lovely to look at.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Furies July 3 2008
By William Linsley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a really entertaining film, despite the fact that Leonard Maltin only rates it two and one-half stars. The acting and cinematography are excellent. Maltin finds it talky, but I can't entirely agree. It's actually a paraphrase of the O'Neill drama Mourning Becomes Electra. The supplementary material included is good.
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