Desert Fury (1947) ***

March 14th, 2020
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director: Lewis Allen. Scr: Robert Rossen. Cast: John Hodiak, Lizabeth Scott, Burt Lancaster, Mary Astor, Wendell Corey. USA 1947, 96 min.

This lush but still obscure Technicolor film noir with an atmospheric Miklos Rozsa score is set (like The Misfits) in Nevada; originally based on a story called ‘Bitter Harvest’ serialised in ‘Collier’s’ magazine in 1945 by Ramona Stewart (whose only other novel to be filmed was ‘The Possession of Joel Delaney’ in 1971).

Described by Eddie Muller as “the gayest movie ever produced in Hollywood’s golden era”, the whole thing makes sense as a menage a trois drama with Lizabeth Scott (dressed to kill by Edith Head and driving a fabulous wood-panelled convertible) coming between gangsters John Hodiak and a debuting Wendell Corey in the face of additional opposition from Scott’s mother, Mary Astor, and local sheriff, Burt Lancaster, (in his early days as a tough guy). Definitely one of a kind! R Chatten

‘Desert Fury’ is now on bluray.

Copyright © 2022 Filmuforia