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The Fury

Theatrical release poster.
Directed by Brian de Palma
Produced by Frank Yablans
Written by Novel & screenplay:
John Farris
Starring Kirk Douglas
John Cassavetes
Carrie Snodgress
Charles Durning
Amy Irving
Rutanya Alda
Music by John Williams
Release date(s) March 10, 1978
Running time 118 min.
Language English

The Fury is a 1978 supernatural thriller film directed by Brian de Palma. The film was written by John Farris based on his novel of the same name. It starred Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes, Carrie Snodgress, Amy Irving, Charles Durning and Andrew Stevens. The music was composed by Academy Award-winner John Williams, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and was highly praised by critic Pauline Kael, who called it "as elegant and delicately varied a score as any horror film has ever had".



The plot combines elements of horror and the spy thriller. A teenage girl, Gillian Bellaver (Amy Irving) discovers that she possesses psychic powers, including telekinesis and extra-sensory perception, but that other people suffer bleeding if they touch her. She volunteers to attend the Paragon Clinic, whose director, Dr. McKeever (Charles Durning), works for a shady intelligence operative named Childress (John Cassavetes). Childress has betrayed his friend Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas) and is using Sandza's psychic son Robin (Andrew Stevens) in research into the weapons potential of psychics. Meanwhile Peter, who survived Childress' set-up, is searching for his son; with Gillian's help and that of his girlfriend Hester (Carrie Snodgress) he tracks Robin down, but Childress' ruthless experiments have damaged the young man's mind and rendered him soulless, and he and Peter both die within minutes of their reunion. As he dies, Robin has some form of psychic contact with Gillian. When Childress tries to persuade Gillian to accept his "help", she finally accepts her talent and kills him to avenge Peter's and Robin's deaths by exploding him from the inside out.


  • The scene in which Kirk Douglas escapes the agents at the hotel, were filmed at the now defunct Plymouth Hotel, the same hotel and room were used in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.

Special effects

  • In order to realistically show Cassavetes exploding at the climax, Cassavetes stood on the set convulsing and bleeding until a lamp falls down creating split-second white flash on the screen. Then a quick edit is done replacing Cassavetes with a lifesized rigged dummy exploding shot at several different angles.


  • The film features early performances by Dennis Franz (in his debut), Daryl Hannah and Laura Innes. Franz plays a cop driving a car hijacked by Douglas' character and gets about ten minutes of screen time and numerous lines. Hannah plays a student at a school attended by Irving's character and gets about five minutes of screen time and almost no lines.
  • Jim Belushi appears as an extra, his appearance becoming a topic many years later on David Letterman's show when he was a guest.

External links



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