Furies, The (1950): Freudian Western, Directed by Anthony Mann, Starring Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston (in his last screen role) give superlative performances in The Furies, a dark, psychological Western, directed by Anthony Mann as a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare.

T.C. Jeffords (Huston) is a cunning, successful ranch owner who has announced his engagement to a wealthy, if unpleasant socialite, Flo Burnett (Judith Anderson of “Rebecca” fame).

This news is poorly received by his daughter Vance (Stanwyck), whose romance with gambler Rip Darrow (Wendell Corey) was foiled by her father. Vance does not care for her stepmother-to-be, to say the least.

When he kills a good friend of Vance’s (a ranch hand he believes was helping Mexicans squat on his land), Vance, driven by violent rage, revenge on her father and joins forces with Darrow to see that justice is done—her way.

In 1950, the prolific Mann directed three Western films; the others being Devil’s Doorway and Winchester 73, starring James Stewart.

He imbues this Western with a dark, film noir sensibility, both thematically and visually.

The scholar Jeanine Basinger has suggested that the prominence of a woman–Stanwyck’s femme fatale–links The Furies to the great noir tradition of the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Cast

Barbara Stanwyck as Vance Jeffords

Wendell Corey as Rip Darrow

Walter Huston s T. C. Jeffords

Judith Anderson as Flo Burnett

Gilbert Roland as Juan Herrera

Thomas Gomez as El Tigre

Beulah Bondi as Mrs. Anaheim

Pepe Hern as Félix Herre

Albert Dekker as Mr. Reynolds

John Bromfield as Clay Jeffords

Wallace Ford as Scotty Hyslip

Louis Jean Heydt as Bailey

Frank Ferguson as Dr. Grieve

Myrna Dell as Dallas Hart

 

 

 

Oscar Nominations: 1

Cinematography (b/w): Victor Milner

Oscar Context:

The winner was Robert Krasker for The Third Man.

Running time: 109 minutes.

Directed by Anthony Mann

Written  by Charles Schnee and Niven Busch

DVD: June 24, 2008