Endfield's Sound and Fury
With nearly two-dozen features to his credit, American-born Cy Endfield rose out of poverty-row studio filmmaking to become a promising director of daring films with topical themes and a progressive outlook that informed such early works as The Underworld Story (1950, about yellow journalism) and Try and Get Me aka The Sound of Fury (1951, about media frenzy and mob vigilantism). But his prior affiliations with the Communist Party led to his investigation by the House Unamerican Activities Committee and spurred him to relocate to England, where he went on to make several iconic action pictures and mystery thrillers. The UCLA Film and Television Archive’s current series Sound and Fury: The Films of Cy Endfield, running through March 18 at the Billy Wilder Theater in Los Angeles, features several of his teamings with timeless British leading man Stanley Baker, including Hell Drivers (1957, also featuring Patrick McGoohan and a young Sean Connery) and Sea Fury (both 1957, co-starring Victor McLaglen) on January 16, the terrific survival tale Sands of the Kalahari (1965, co-starring Stuart Whitman and Susannah York) on March 4, and Jet Storm (1961, co-starring Richard Attenborough) on March 18. Two all-time Endfield greats, both available on splendid Twilight Time hi-def Blu-rays, will also be screened: Zulu (1964), the incomparable epic chronicle of the historic 1879 siege of Rorke’s drift toplining Baker, Michael Caine and Jack Hawkins, this Sunday January 17, and Mysterious Island (1961), the fanciful Jules Verne fantasy adventure showcasing brilliant Ray Harryhausen stop-motion visual effects, on February 17. The salute coincides with the recent publication of The Many Lives of Cy Endfield: Film Noir, The Blacklist and Zulu, a biography by Brian Neve, who will be on hand to introduce the Zulu and Hell Drivers/Sea Fury double feature screenings. For more on the entire series, visit https://www.cinema.ucla.edu/events/2016/cy-endfield. For those who can’t make it to Los Angeles, TT’s discs of Zulu and Mysterious Island are available to transforrn your home theaters into thunderous movie palaces of extraordinary entertainment.