|Directed by||David Ayer|
|Produced by||Bill Block|
|Written by||David Ayer|
|Music by||Steven Price|
|Edited by||Dody Dom|
|Production||Le Grisbi Productions|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Released||October 17, 2014|
|Ratings||R - Restricted|
|Box office||$211.8 million|
Fury is David Ayer's critically-acclaimed World War II tank movie set in April 1945.
The film stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, Michael Peña, Jason Isaacs, and Scott Eastwood. Rehearsal began in early September 2013 in Hertfordshire, England followed by principal photography on September 30, 2013, in Oxfordshire. Filming continued for a month and a half at different locations, which included the city of Oxford, and concluded on November 15. The film was released on October 17, 2014.
Plot[edit | edit source]
As the Allies make their final push into Nazi Germany, a battle-hardened U.S. Army Staff Sergeant in the 66th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division named Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt) commands an M4A3E8 Sherman tank named Fury and its five-man, all-veteran crew: Boyd "Bible" Swan (Shia LaBeouf), gunner; Grady "Coon-Ass" Travis (Jon Bernthal), loader; and Trini "Gordo" Garcia (Michael Peña), driver. The tank's original assistant driver/bow gunner; "Red", has been killed in battle and his replacement turns out to be a recently enlisted Army typist, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) who, it transpires, has never even seen the inside of a tank before, let alone experienced the ravages of war. During his encounter with the men, they harass him and are cruel, obnoxious, and rude to him. Norman is then ordered to clean the tank, and vomits outside after finding a part of "Red's" face. While at a forward operating base, it's revealed that Wardaddy greatly despises the Waffen-SS, shown when he harasses an injured captive SS officer before telling Norman to kill every one of them he sees.
The surviving crew, who have been together since the North African Campaign, despise the new recruit upon meeting him, for both his lack of experience, and for his reluctance to kill Germans, especially the teenagers of the Hitlerjugend in cold blood; a decision which results in the destruction of Lieutenant Parker's tank and the deaths of its entire crew. Wardaddy is furious and in an effort to brutalise the young man and 'educate' him to the realities of war, he violently attempts to force Norman to take his weapon and shoot dead a captive German artilleryman, who was wearing a looted American trenchcoat. When Norman refuses to do so, Wardaddy forces the gun into his hand and makes him execute the prisoner.
This bond between Norman and Wardaddy becomes stronger after capturing a small German town, where Wardaddy and Norman meet a German woman, Irma, and her cousin, named Emma, while searching a house. Norman presumably sleeps with Emma, then joins Wardaddy and Emma's cousin for breakfast, during which time Norman discovers that Wardaddy has sustained horrific burn scars on his back at some point. The four then sit down and have breakfast together, but the tank crew barges in, rudely teasing the women and angering Wardaddy and Norman. Shortly afterwards, a German bombardment hits the town, killing Emma and some of the American forces. This, coupled with observing the retreating Germans soldiers burning their own towns and the cruelty they show to other Germans who do not fight for the Wehrmacht, hardens Norman. He confesses to Wardaddy that he has begun to enjoy killing Nazi soldiers.
The platoon of four tanks, led by Wardaddy, gets a mission to hold a vital crossroads, protecting a clear way to supply trains and a camp filled with allied doctors, nurses and rear-echelon supplies troops (the map shows Emmerthal south of Hameln, where the railway from the Ruhr district to Hanover crosses the Weser river). On the way to the crossroads, they are ambushed by a heavily-armed German Tiger I, which quickly destroys one of the tanks. The remaining three tanks reluctantly attack the German tank, knowing they are outgunned. The Shermans advance and attempt to outflank the Tiger, but two other Shermans are destroyed before they can make it, leaving only Fury remaining. With some decisive and experienced maneuvering, Fury gets behind the Tiger where its armor is weakest, and destroys it. Bible notes that he believes they were spared for a reason and the men proceed to the crossroads, knowing that they are the only tank left to protect the camp down the road.
While driving towards the camp, Fury is immobilized after hitting a landmine at a crossroads by an abandoned mill; shortly afterwards, a battalion of three hundred Waffen-SS infantry approaches. Wardaddy refuses to leave, and the rest of the crew, initially reluctant, decide to stay and plan an ambush. While waiting in the tank, the crew has a last conversation. Here, Norman earns the nickname "Machine", given to him by Grady Travis. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men nevertheless inflict heavy losses on the Germans using both the tank's and the crews' weapons, but gradually, one by one, Grady, Gordo, and Bible are all killed.
Wardaddy is gravely wounded by an SS sniper using a Karabiner 98k rifle. Norman and Wardaddy retreat back into the tank where they share their last words. Wardaddy apologize to Norman for brutalize him and being a bloodthirsty psychopath and said he did his best to be good the best way he know how.When SS soldiers were to to open the hatch Norman wanted to surrender be Wardaddy beg him not to surrender to the SS because they would hurt real bad and they would kill him real bad.When the two SS soldiers drop two Model 24 Stielhandgranate stick grenades into the tank, Wardaddy, wounded and unable to move, orders Norman to escape through the bottom emergency hatch of the tank. Norman escapes as the last surviving crew member and hides in the partial crater previously made by the landmine explosion. The grenades then detonate, killing Wardaddy. A young German Waffen-SS trooper finds Norman, but does not turn him in, leaving the assistant driver hidden safely beneath the destroyed tank as the few surviving German soldiers move on.
The next morning, Norman awakens to return to his fallen brothers in Fury, he cover them with blankets one by one and collecting their items and photos together, he places his coat upon Wardaddy and takes his revolver and his knife as he hears movement outside. As Norman awaits his fate, he is discovered by U.S. Army troop, who tell him that he's a hero, strongly implying that the German offensive failed because of the troop's actions, and that the battalion was too weakened to harm the camp past the crossroads. As Norman is being transported to safety, he looks back at the carnage of the hundreds of dead German SS troops surrounding the remains of the destroyed Fury.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Brad Pitt as US Army S/Sgt. Don "Wardaddy" Collier
- Logan Lerman as Pfc. Norman "Machine" Ellison
- Shia LaBeouf as T/5 Boyd "Bible" Swan
- Michael Peña as Cpl. Trini "Gordo" Garcia
- Jon Bernthal as Pfc. Grady "Coon-Ass" Travis
- Jason Isaacs as Cpt. "Old Man" Waggoner
- Scott Eastwood as Sgt. Miles
- Xavier Samuel as 2nd Lt. Parker
- Brad William Henke as S/Sgt. Davis
- Jim Parrack as S/Sgt. Binkowski
- Anamaria Marinca as Irma
- Alicia von Rittberg as Emma
- Kevin Vance as S/Sgt. Peterson
- Branko Tomović as German Corporal
- Iain Garrett as Sgt. Foster
- Eugenia Kuzmina as Hilda Meier
- Stella Stocker as Edith
- Chris Wilson as Chaplain
Themes[edit | edit source]
The movie shows how a veteran tank crew incorporates and indoctrinates a new member to withstand the demands of war. Under his platoon sergeant's leadership the new crewman, Norman (an Army typist), undergoes a transformation that allows him to function under the conditions of war while leaving behind the trappings of civil society. The transformation of Norman could also serve as an allegory for the audience's own education on the exigencies of war. Major themes include the horrors of war and their dehumanizing effects on soldiers and civilians, the strong bonds formed during wartime, man's inhumanity to man (and woman), the call of duty, loyalty and leadership, and spiritual redemption in the face of death.
Production[edit | edit source]
On February 13, 2013, Deadline reported that QED International had purchased their next project, Fury; they would finance the film, scripted by David Ayer, who would also direct later that year. On 3 April production was set to begin in September 2013. On April 10, 2013 Sony Pictures won the auction from Universal Pictures for the film and Columbia Pictures acquired the film's domestic rights.
Casting[edit | edit source]
On April 3, 2013, Sony started to assemble the cast for the film when Brad Pitt, who previously starred in 2009's WWII-set Inglourious Basterds, entered final talks to take the lead role of Wardaddy. On April 23, Shia LaBeouf joined the cast. On 1 May it was announced that Logan Lerman had also joined Fury 's cast, playing Pitt's crew member Norman Ellison. On 14 May THR announced that Michael Peña was in negotiations to play a member of Pitt's tank crew. On May 17, Jon Bernthal joined the cast as Grady Travis, a cunning, vicious and world-wise Arkansas native. On August 26, Scott Eastwood also joined the cast, playing Sergeant Miles. On 19 September Brad William Henke joined as Sergeant Roy Davis, commander of another tank, Lucy Sue. (The first Sherman destroyed by the Tiger). Jason Isaacs was cast on 7 October 2013. Other cast members include Xavier Samuel, Jim Parrack, Eugenia Kuzmina, Kevin Vance, and Branko Tomović.
Before filming, Ayer required the actors to undergo a four-month preparation process. This included a week-long boot camp run by Navy SEALs. Pitt stated, "It was set up to break us down, to keep us cold, to keep us exhausted, to make us miserable, to keep us wet, make us eat cold food. And if our stuff wasn't together we had to pay for it with physical forfeits. We're up at five in the morning, we're doing night watches on the hour." Logan Lerman stated that he had the harshest treatment in the entire cast. Ayer would encourage the other cast members to be cruel to Lerman so as to make him more into his character. Ayer himself would also berate Lerman and show him videos of violent real decapitations to disturb him on set. Lerman said that some days he wanted to cry while filming the movie, but he was glad for the experience.
Filming[edit | edit source]
The film's crews were rehearsing the film scenes in Hertfordshire, England, in September 2013. Brad Pitt was spotted in preparations for Fury driving a tank on September 3 in the English countryside. Principal photography began on September 30, 2013, in the Oxfordshire countryside. Pinewood Studios sent warning letters to the villagers of Shirburn, Pyrton and Watlington that there would be sounds of gunfire and explosions during the filming of Fury.
Ayer also pushed the cast to physically spar each other, leading to many black eyes and bloody noses. They insulted each other with personal attacks as well. On top of that, the actors were forced to live in the tank together for an extended period of time where they ate, slept, and defecated.
In regard to his choices, Ayer defended himself, saying, "I am ruthless as a director. I will do whatever I think is necessary to get what I want.”
On October 15, 2013, a stuntman was accidentally stabbed in the shoulder by a bayonet while rehearsing at the set in Pyrton. He was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford by an air ambulance. Police confirmed that they were treating it as an accident. In November 2013, the film caused controversy by shooting a scene on Remembrance Day in which extras wore Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS uniforms. Ayer apologized for the incident, and Sony also made an apology. Filming was wrapped-up on November 15, 2013 in Oxfordshire.
Marketing[edit | edit source]
The film additionally had a partnership with the popular online video game World of Tanks, where the main tank from the film, Fury, was available for purchase in-game using real currency for a limited time after the film's release. The tank also served as the centerpiece in themed events in the vein of the film following its release.
As part of the UK DVD release, the game also hid 300,000 codes inside copies of the film, which gave in-game rewards and bonuses.
Music[edit | edit source]
Main article: Fury: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
On November 19, 2013, composerSteven Price signed on to score the film. Varèse Sarabande released the original soundtrack album for the film on October 14, 2014.
Aside from the score, other songs were used in the film, such as: The Old Rugged Cross, You Always Hurt the One You Love, Drunk Man's Wiggle, Dust Up Ragtime, I Don't Mean a Thing To You, Sunday Rag, Whoopee Ti Yi Yo, Shotgun Wedding, and La Legion Marche. The song played on the piano by Norman Ellison and sung by Emma is called The Virgin's Slumber Song.
Release[edit | edit source]
Sony Pictures had previously set November 14, 2014 as the American release date for Fury. On August 12, 2014, the date was moved up to October 17. The film was released in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2014.
Fury had its world premiere at Newseum in Washington, D.C. on October 15, 2014, followed by a wide release across 3,173 theaters in North America on October 17.
Box Office[edit | edit source]
The film proved to be very successful at the box office. Grossing $85,817,906 in North America and $122,600,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $208,417,906.
Fury was released on October 17, 2014, in North America across 3,173 theatres. It earned $1.2 million from Thursday late night showings from 2,489 theatres. On its opening day, the film grossed $8.8 million. The film topped the box office on its opening weekend earning $23,500,000 at an average of $7,406 per theatre. The film's opening weekend gross is David Ayer's biggest hit of his (now five-film) directorial career, surpassing the $13.1 million debut of End of Watch and his third-biggest opening as a writer behind The Fast and the Furious ($40 million) and S.W.A.T. ($37 million). In its second weekend the film earned $13 million (-45%).
Fury was released a week following its North American debut and earned $11.2 million from 1,975 screens in 15 markets. The film went number one in Australia ($2.2 million) and number five in France ($2.1 million). In UK, the film topped the box office in its opening weekend with £2.69 million ($4.2 million) knocking off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which earned £1.92 million ($3.1 million) from the top spot. In its second weekend the film added $14.6 million in 44 markets, bringing the overseas cumulative audience to $37.8 million. It went number one in Finland ($410,000) and in Ukraine ($160,000).
Home media[edit | edit source]
The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in the United States on January 27, 2015.
Internet leak[edit | edit source]
The film was leaked onto peer-to-peer file sharing websites by the hacker group "Guardians of Peace" on November 27, 2014. Along with it came four other at-the-time unreleased Sony Pictures films (Annie, Mr. Turner, Still Alice, and To Write Love on Her Arms). Within three days of the initial leak, Fury had been downloaded an estimated 1.2 million times.
Historical Accuracy[edit | edit source]
Contrary to popular belief, "Fury" is not a true story or based on true events. However, it can be argued that Fury is a realistic film that is based on hundreds of true stories of tank crews just doing their best to survive, despite being a fictional film set during the final days of the war in Europe. Fury is one of the few movies to show the desperate, dark days of the war's end, a topic not usually shown in World War II movies. Ayer was influenced by the service of veterans in his family and by reading books such as Belton Y. Cooper's Death Traps about American armored warfare in World War II. Ayer went to considerable lengths to seek authentic uniforms and weapons appropriate to the period of the final months of the war in Europe. The film was shot in England in large part due to the availability of working World War II-era tanks. The film featured Tiger 131, the last surviving operational Tiger I. The tank belongs to Bovington Tank Museum at Bovington, England. It is the first time since the 1946 film Theirs Is the Glory that a real Tiger tank – and not a prop version – has been used on a film set. Tiger 131 is a very early model Tiger I tank; externally it has some significant differences from later Tiger I models, most noticeably the outermost row of road wheels (of the trio per axle, used in the Schachtellaufwerk overlapping and interleaved arrangement characteristic of the Tiger I) which are also rimmed in rubber, as well as the dustbin shaped cupola. In the last weeks of the war a number of these early model Tigers were used in last ditch defence efforts; one of Germany's last Tigers to be lost at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was of a similar vintage. Ten working M4 Sherman tanks were used. The Sherman tank Fury was played by an M4A2E8 Sherman tank named RON/HARRY (T224875), also lent by Bovington Tank Museum.
While the plot of the film is fictional, the depiction of the tank Fury and its commander Wardaddy parallels the experience of several real Allied tankers, such as the American tank commander Staff Sergeant Lafayette G. Pool who landed just after D-Day and destroyed 258 enemy vehicles until his tank was knocked out in Germany in late 1944, and the small number of Sherman tanks to survive from the landing at D-Day to the end of the war, such as Bomb, a Sherman tank that landed at D-Day and survived into bitter fighting in Germany at the war's end, the only Canadian Sherman tank to survive the fighting from D-Day to VE Day. The plot also has some similarities to the battle of Crailsheim, fought in Germany in 1945. The last stand of the crew of the disabled Fury bears some resemblance to that of Medal of Honor recipient Audie Murphy aboard a burning M10 Wolverine tank destroyer outside Holtzwihr in Alsace-Lorraine on January 24, 1945. The fighting in the film also bears similarity to the 1943 film Sahara starring Humphrey Bogart in which the crew of an M3 Lee named "Lulu Belle" and a contingent of stranded British soldiers, defend a remote well in Libya against a larger German force of the elite Afrika Korps, to the demise of most of the Allies.
Reaction[edit | edit source]
Fury has received largely positive reviews from critics, who praised its visual style, Ayer's direction, and the performances of its cast (particularly Pitt, LaBeouf, and Lerman). On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a "Certified Fresh" rating of 78%, based on 202 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The site's consensus reads, "Overall, Fury is a well-acted, suitably raw depiction of the horrors of war that offers visceral battle scenes but doesn't quite live up to its larger ambitions." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 64 out of 100, based on 47 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". The Boston Globe 's Ty Burr gave 2.5 out of 4 stars and talked about Pitt's character Sergeant Don "Wardaddy" Collier, that he is "the battle-scarred leader of a tank squad pushing through Germany toward Berlin, Brad Pitt creates a warrior who is terse, sometimes noble, more often brutal." Burr explained that Ayer put character "into a figure both monstrous and upstanding. In one scene, he shoots a captured enemy officer in the back. A few scenes later, he’s protecting two German women from being assaulted by his own men." He said, "Fury gives us terrible glimpses: tank treads rolling over a body pancaked into the mud, an elderly woman cutting meat off a dead horse, a woman in a wedding dress among a crowd of refugees. Fury wants to lead us to a fresh consideration of “the good war” while simultaneously celebrating the old bromides and clichés. No wonder it shoots itself in the tank." Rafer Guzman of the Newsday admired director Ayer who "does a good job of putting us inside the tank Fury," film with "all the extra blood and brutality, this is still a macho and romanticized war movie," and Pitt who "serves honorably in the John Wayne role." Film critic Christopher Orr of The Atlantic magazine said that the film "is too technically refined to be a truly bad movie, but too narratively and thematically stunted to be a good one. In a sense, it succeeds too well in conjuring its own subject matter: heavy, mechanical, claustrophobic, and unrelenting." The Philadelphia Inquirer's Steven Rea gave the film 3 out of 4 stars and praised, "Fury presents an unrelentingly violent, visceral depiction of war, which is perhaps as it should be. Bayonets in the eye, bullets in the back, limbs blown apart, corpses of humans and horses splayed across muddy, incinerated terrain. Ayer brought a similar you-are-there intensity to his 2012 cops-on-patrol drama, End of Watch (also with Peña)." But on the opposite side of Rea's admiration, he thinks, "It wouldn't be right to call Fury entertaining, and in its narrow focus (as narrow as the view from the tank's periscope), the film doesn't offer a broader take on the horrors of war - other than to put those horrors right in front of us, in plain view." Chris Vognar wrote the review for The Dallas Morning News giving the film "B+" grade, in which he writes about "War" which he thinks is, "hell," and also "relentless, unsparing, unsentimental and violent to the mind, body and soul. Fury conveys these truths with brute force and lean, precise drama." Kenneth Turan for the Los Angeles Times praised the film highly, writing: "Best job I ever had" sentence "is one of the catchphrases the men in this killing machine use with each other, and the ghastly thing is they half believe it's true."
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter simply said, "Fury is a good, solid World War II movie, nothing more and nothing less. Rugged, macho, violent and with a story sufficiently unusual to grab and hold interest, it's a modern version of the sort of movie Hollywood turned out practically every week back in the 1940s and 1950s." Peter Debruge wrote for the magazine Variety in which he praised Pitt, "Brad Pitt plays a watered-down version of his 'Inglourious Basterds' character in this disappointingly bland look at a World War II tank crew." The Wrap's James Rocchi gave 4 out 5 ratings and expressed a warm approval of the film which is "unflinching, unsentimental and never unconsidered, "Fury 's rumbling, metal-clad exterior has real humanity, fragile and frightened, captured and caged deep within it." Randy Myers of the San Jose Mercury News rated the film 3 out of 4 and talked about LaBeouf "who's most impressive, inhabiting the soul of a scripture-quoting soldier who seeks guidance from the Word in hopes of remaining on a moral path. While much has been made about the reportedly extreme lengths he took to prep for the role, the fact remains it is one of his best performances." Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle gave a 4 out of 4 rating and wrote completely in the favor of the film: "A great movie lets you know you're in safe hands from the beginning." James Berardinelli also gave the film a positive review saying: "This is a memorable motion picture, accurately depicting the horrors of war without reveling in the depravity of man (like Platoon). Equally, it shows instances of humanity without resorting to the rah-rah, sanitized perspective that infiltrated many war films of the 1950s and 1960s. It's as good a World War II film as I've seen in recent years, and contains perhaps the most draining battlefield sequences since Saving Private Ryan.
The New York Times's critic A. O. Scott well praised the film and Pitt's character, "Within this gore-spattered, superficially nihilistic carapace is an old-fashioned platoon picture, a sensitive and superbly acted tale of male bonding under duress." Rex Reed of The New York Observer said, "The actors are all good, Mr. Pitt moves even closer to iconic stardom, and young Mr. Lerman steals the picture as the camera lens through whose eyes and veins we share every dehumanizing experience. Purists may squabble, but if you’re a history buff or a pushover for the sight of a man engulfed in flames who shoots himself through the head before he burns to death, you’ll go away from Fury sated." The Arizona Republic's critic Bill Goodykoontz said, "In terms of story, structure and look (with the exception of the gore), this movie could have been made at any time in the past 70 years." To Goodykoontz review, Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the reply, "Given how many World War II films have emerged in the last 70 years, it requires a thoroughly fresh angle to make one seem distinctive." Puig also said, "Flesh-and-blood soldiers play second fiddle to the authentic-looking artillery in Fury, rendering the film tough and harrowing, but less emotionally compelling than it could have been." The A.V. Club's Ignatiy Vishnevetsky gave the film "C+" grade and said, "It's all very Peckinpah-or at least it could be, if Ayer had any sense of poetry." The Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips gave the reviews from the negative aspects of the film, "At its weakest, Fury contributes a frustrating percentage of tin to go with the iron and steel."
Rene Rodriguez of The Miami Herald gave the film 2 out of 4 stars said, "War is hell. That's entertainment, folks." Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly said, "This is an ugly part of an ugly war, and Ayer wallows in it. Instead of flags and patriotism, Fury is about filth: the basins of blood, the smears on the soldiers' exhausted faces, the bodies pushed around by bulldozers, a decomposing corpse that's melted into the mud." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave 3 out of 4 stars and said, "Written and directed with exacting skill and aching heart by David Ayer, Fury captures the buried feelings of men in combat with piercing immediacy." The New York Post's Kyle Smith said that he "couldn't help suspecting that there's a pornographic leer to it all, a savage glee." Tom Long wrote for The Detroit News and gave the film negative reviews, "Fury is a brutal film that too easily celebrates rage and bloodshed to no clear end beyond ugly spectacle." The Globe and Mail wrote: "Fury...is a war movie with balls of steel and marbles for brains." Chris Klimek of NPR praised the film and actors, "Fury is a big step up in sophistication. Where it elevates itself from being merely a believably grimy, well-acted war drama is in its long and surprising middle act." New York magazine 's David Edelstein admired the film in his own words, "Though much of Fury crumbles in the mind, the power of its best moments lingers: the writhing of Ellison as he’s forced to kill; the frightening vibe of the scene with German women; the meanness on some soldiers' faces and soul-sickness on others'."