Try and Get Me (aka The Sound of Fury) (1950): Cy Endfield’s Crime Noir with Social Conscience

Cy Endfield directed Try and Get Me, a socially-conscious crime noir, starring Frank Lovejoy and Lloyd Bridges.

The film is based on the 1947 novel The Condemned by Jo Pagano, who also wrote the screenplay.

The tale draws on factual events in 1933, when two men were arrested in San Jose, California, for the kidnapping and murder of Brooke Hart. The suspects confessed and were subsequently lynched by a mob of locals. (Fury, Fritz Lang’s first American movie, was inspired by the same incident.

Howard Tyler (Frank Lovejoy) is a family man, living in California, who’s unemployed. He meets up with a small-time hoodlum Jerry Slocum (Lloyd Bridges), who convinces him to participate in gas station robberies.  They kidnap a wealthy man, hoping to get a huge ransom, who Slocum murders.

Breaking down emotionally, Tyler begins drinking heavily, and while drunk, he confesses his crimes to a lonely woman, who then goes to the police.

When the two kidnappers are arrested, a journalist (Richard Carlson) writes a series of hate-filled articles about the two prisoners, which eventually lead to brutal lynching.

Frank Lovejoy as Howard Tyler
Kathleen Ryan as Judy Tyler
Richard Carlson as Gil Stanton
Lloyd Bridges as Jerry Slocum
Katherine Locke as Hazel Weatherwax
Adele Jergens as Velma
Art Smith as Hal Clendenning
Renzo Cesana as Dr. Simone