B-Movie Hive: "The Sound of Fury"

Okay, fellow B-keepers, pay close attention to this one because The Sound of Fury aka Try and Get Me is a real keeper. Why I have never seen or even heard of this movie before is one of those mysteries up there alongside why Keanu Reeves still has an acting career. Two main reasons exist to fire up whatever device you watch Netflix instant streaming on tonight and watch this genuinely stunning and frightening example of how B-movies so often reach beyond the grave of late night TV and dollar DVD bins to punch you in the gut harder than most Best Film Oscar winners do.

One of those reasons is Lloyd Bridges. I knew Bridges could do comedy from his stint in Airplane! and I knew he could play the bland love interest on shows like Love Boat, but I had no idea he could rival anything his son Jeff has so far pulled off. What’s that, you say: Lloyd Bridges gave a performance as good as Jeff as the Dude or the Last American Hero? Yes. Karl Malden won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Elia Kazan’s vomitous version of A Streetcar Named Desire but I tell you this: Lloyd Bridges should have won the Oscar for his role in The Sound of Fury.

Bridges plays what in the world of Freudian psychology is termed an antisocial narcissist with violent tendencies. The preening and posing and longing gazes at his reflection in the mirror at the beginning of this movie (in which he is bowling, shades of the Dude) is unlike anything I have ever witnessed. Let me put Lloyd Bridges’ performance as a psychotic narcissist in The Sound of Fury in terms that modern day audiences can understand: he is far more believable and scary an American Psycho than Christian Bale could ever hope to be, plus he’s got a far more believable American accent. (Though he is not as terrifying as Donald J. Trump.) Lloyd Bridges is Gilderoy Lockhart as Amon Goeth. What I’m trying to tell you is that Lloyd Bridges absolutely stuns with his dramatic acting chops in this B-movie flick.

Now to the second reason you should put The Sound of Fury on your Netflix instant streaming queue and watch it tonight. I know those of you who are aware of the amazing number of movies I’ve seen in my life will think I’m being overly hyperbolic, but trust me that I am not: The Sound of Fury contains the most frightening crowd-turning-into-rioters-turning-into-lynch mob that I have ever seen. Keep in mind that I have seen the angry mob scenes in movies from They Won’t Forget to The Day of the Locust. The riot scene in The Sound of Fury makes the riot scenes of Gangs of New York look like the Muppets on Sesame Street trying to teach kids about the danger of not being able to think for yourself.

The frenzied and truly spine-chilling manner in which the riot scene climaxes The Sound of Fury would probably not have been quite so authentic and scarifyingly convincing were it not for the slightly ironic fact that the director of The Sound of Fury was exactly like one of those “friends” that rat bastard Elia Kazan named before HUAC. Cy Endfield doesn’t have the name recognition of Dalton Trumbo or the awards of Edward Dmytryk, but he was a victim of the communist blacklist that was helped along by weak-kneed, yellow residents of Dante’s lowest circle of hell like Elia Kazan. It was Endfield’s fear of rabid anti-communists whose ire had been raised by profit-seeking newspapers that no doubt drives the celluloid of The Sound of Fury nearly to the burning point like the famous scene from Bergman’s Persona. If you possess any belief that fearmongers like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman are not capable of creating legitimate havoc, then just take a gander at The Sound of Fury and replace thievery and murder with cries of socialist.

Your eyes may widen with concern and apprehension just as much as Lloyd Bridges’ near the end of the movie.