|Kirk Douglas watches his son get abducted.|
For most of its running time, The Fury follows two parallel stories. In the first, Peter (Kirk Douglas), a retired government agent, searches desperately for his kidnapped teenaged son. An early scene between father and son reveals that Robin (Andrew Stevens) is “special,” though his unique talents remain a mystery throughout much of the film.
|Amy Irving as Gillian.|
Thematically, the connection between Gillian and Robin is that they’re both isolated from a “normal” society. When Robin’s father discusses returning to the U.S. to attend school, Robin replies: “I won’t fit in; I’d feel like some kind of freak.” Likewise, Gillian knows she is different. Except for one friend, her classmates treat her cruelly or ambivalently (not unlike the title character in DePalma’s earlier Carrie). It’s no wonder that Gillian becomes anxious to meet Robin—to finally talk with someone like herself.
|Tragedy strikes during the escape.|
Although the climax to The Fury goes over-the-top and turns excessively gory, the film’s virtues easily outweigh its faults. Amy Irving turns in a winning, vulnerable performance, while Carrie Snodgress provides great support as a nurse who befriends her. DePalma keeps the plot moving smartly, while visually reminding us this is a film about people reaching out to one another. Watch for his many shots of hands: Gillian grabbing the doctor’s hand on the stairs; Gillian’s and Robin’s finger tapping in unison; and Peter holding onto his son’s hand near the end.
|Carrie Snodgress and Kirk Douglas.|
Trivia fans should note that two of Gillian’s classmates are played by Daryl Hannah and Laura Innes (Carrie on the television series ER). The off-duty cop with the new Cadillac is Dennis Franz, long before NYPD Blue. For the record, my second favorite DePalma film is the equally underrated Body Double, an entertaining, slightly sleazy homage to Hitchcock’s Rear Window.
This post is part of the Kirk Douglas 100th Birthday Blogathon hosted by Shadows and Satin. Click here to check out the complete blogathon schedule.