Desert Fury (1947): Technicolor Noir

Desert Fury (1947)

The young daughter of a lady casino operator falls for a racketeer
(1947 Paramount. Directed by Lewis Allen 96 mins)

Despite the use of lavish technicolor and high production values, Desert Fury only has any spark in the last 20 minutes culminating in a three-car car chase across the Nevada desert at dusk, which is made even more exciting by great musical scoring from Miklós Rózsa.

The big name stars are wasted and the screenplay from the otherwise dependable A. I. Bezzeridis and Rober Rossen lacks punch, and the dialog is sadly pretty sappy.  But the story did hold my interest to the end.

The debut performance of Wendell Corey as the possessive homme-noir to Lizabeth Scott and her racketeer boy-friend is impressive: his relationship with the racketeer played by John Hodiak has an undertone of sublimated homoerotic obsession, and it this that sustains the drama and is the trigger for the final denouement.

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