A flawed but strikingly dark thriller about a World War II veteran (Lovejoy), unable to provide for his family, who drifts into petty crime, is inveigled by an unbalanced acquaintance (Bridges) into a kidnapping that goes wrong, and ends on the wrong side of a lynch mob. Although based on a factual case from the '30s, it is designed as an anti-McCarthyist plea (Endfield was blacklisted soon after), and its weakness lies in the elements of message: the journalist who whips up mob hysteria against the criminals, and the Italian professor who provides a civilised commentary deploring what is going on. But the background is sharply observed, the first half is rivetingly done, and the tension reasserts itself for the lynching finale.
The Sound of Fury
Cast and crew