Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


SON OF FURY (1942) Director: John Cronwell.

Tyrone Power gives a highly effective "star" performance as Benjamin Blake who is born in England during the reign of George III. His evil Uncle Arthur (George Sanders) takes him away from his poor but loving grandfather (Harry Davenport) only to turn him into a servant on the huge estate that by rights should belong to him! Wanted by the authorities for the attempted slaying of Arthur, Benjamin sails to the south seas and swims to an island which a buddy Caleb (John Carradine) has told him is full of a fortune in pearls. There he meets an island beauty he christens Eve (Gene Tierney) while back home his cousin Isabel (Frances Farmer), whom he loves, wonders if he's alive or dead. Back in England the now-rich Benjamin still finds he has to fight duplicity and betrayal to finally claim his birthright. This is a rousing, handsomely produced, entertaining adventure story with fine performances, solid direction from Cromwell, and an evocative, excellent score from Alfred Newman. Elsa Lanchester has a nice bit as a prostitute who hides Ben out while he's on the run. George Sanders is at his oily, sinister best. But Tyrone Power's presence and authority add immeasurably to the picture's dramatic veracity.

Verdict: Great fun! ***.

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