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Captain Fury

(1939 b 92')

En: 5 Ed: 5

An Irish revolutionary leads convicts in Australia against a rich man who is trying to take land away from settlers.

         In Sydney, Australia a convict ship has brought nearly three hundred prisoners. The Governor (Lawrence Grossmith) writes a letter protesting the sending of prisoners to his country. Captain Michael Fury (Brian Aherne) and Coughy (John Carradine) get off the boat and are marched down a street. Jeanette Dupré (June Lang) and her father François Dupré (Paul Lukas) come out of a store. She admires a new dress and is reprimanded by her father.

         In a building ill Coughy is sentenced to five years in the custody of Arnold  Trist (George Zucco) along with Michael Fury.

         At Arnold Trist Station the “old man” returns. He asks Preston (Douglass Dumbrille) what has happened, and Preston tells him he has punished several prisoners on bread and water. A man who struck a guard was given a dozen lashes. Trist tells him he is taking over the land of settlers.

         Trist looks over the new prisoners and warns them not to try escaping because he pays £100 alive or dead for them. They are given a bowl of food and a wooden spoon. Big Blackie (Victor McLaglen) looks over the new men and notices Captain Fury, the liberator of Ireland. Blackie says he told people to stand up for their rights. Another man stands up for him, and Blackie knocks him down. Fury warns Blackie, who says he is the head man there. He challenges any of them to fight him. Coughy wants to fight him, but Fury takes up the challenge. Blackie knocks him down three times; but then Fury hits Blackie, and they wrestle. A man with a whip hears the noise and comes in, making them stop. Blackie befriends Fury, and the man leaves. The two laugh about their fight. Blackie tells the others that Fury is a man and is to be treated as such.

         The prisoners work shearing the wool from sheep. Fury has created a pattern on one and calls it a work of art. Trist and Preston observe the odd sheep. Trist lectures the men and tells the man responsible to step forward. He asks Blackie, who says he does not know. Trist orders him to be given six lashes. Fury stops them by saying it was him. Trist tells them to give him twelve lashes. Fury pulls out his knife and grabs Trist. While he is climbing over the wall, the man shooting at him is wounded by a knife thrown by Coughy. Trist tells Preston the settlers will pick him up for the reward, and then he will punish him.

         Jeanette is doing laundry by a stream and sees Fury takes some clothes. She runs home and comes back with a shotgun. She tells him he is her prisoner. He asks her to turn around while he dresses. She says she gets £100 for his return. He says he is at her service. She asks why he did not run off, and he says he is hungry.

         Three men on horses tell settlers that Mr. Trist wants to talk to them.

         In her cabin Fury is eating and talking with Jeanette. He says she is lovely like a beautiful rose. They hear the sound of a whip and see settlers being rounded up. He waits inside, and she goes out. Trist tells the settlers that they don’t belong there and must leave in one week, or their livestock will disappear and their cabins may be burned. He and his men leave. The settlers discuss what to do and ask Dupré. He tells them to go home. Jeanette urges them to do something. Fury says he will help them fight for their homes. He says they are pioneers and must fight for what is theirs. Dupré tells them not to listen to him. The settler John Bailey (Lumsden Hare) says they cannot fight them. Dupré warns them not to go with a convict. Fury asks them to give him a gun and a horse.

         Fury rides back to the camp and climbs over the wall. He knocks out a guard and uses his whip to stop a man with a gun. He goes inside and wakes up his friends. He asks them to join him. Blackie wants to go too, and Fury says he must take orders. Small Bertie (Will Stanton) also comes. Outside they knock out two guards and hold another at gunpoint. They go over to the store to get money. Fury demands the money that Trist owes the settlers. Fury gets £340 and has the storekeeper sign a receipt. Fury tells Blackie to put something back. They go out, get on horses, and depart.

         In his home Trist reprimands the storekeeper and others with contempt.

         Fury tells Blackie that he and the others get £1 each because the rest is for the settlers. Blackie tells the others. One man takes gold to the home of a settler and leaves it there.

         The Governor sends an aide to get information from Trist.

         Blackie is bored and complains to Fury.

         At table Trist tells Mergon (Charles Middleton) to start with Bailey.

         Mergon  and his men barge into the cabin of Bailey, and Mergon orders them to get out. Bailey refuses, and they begin destroying the furniture. Bailey goes out, and the three men sit down to eat. They knock down Danny Bailey. Outside Bailey signals with a blanket. A man sees it and lights a signal fire. The message spreads, and the men get on their horses. They ride to the Baileys. From a distance Jeanette sees what is happening there. Men are freeing the animals. Fury, Blackie, and others arrive and disarm them. Fury lines them up and tells them they must pay for the damage. Fury takes a watch from Blackie and gives it back to a man. At the cabin Fury tells Coughy to give Mergon some dirty work to do. Bailey is given money. Coughy makes Mergon work in the pig pen. Inside the house the men are told to straighten up the place. One of the convicts meets Tess Bailey. Blackie tells Fury what work has been done. Fury talks with Jeanette, who says his men are wonderful. She apologizes to him. The men are gathered, and Fury tells Mergon that he and his men can go. Mrs. Bailey thanks Fury. Bailey offers to treat Blackie and the others at the inn.

         They enter the inn, and Bailey tells them to be quiet. He orders some service in a back room. Bailey tells the servant he has to serve the convicts too. Blackie gets four men to move so that he can sit with an attractive woman. He asks her for a kiss, and she slaps him because Cough pinched her.

         Fury tells Jeanette that his name is Michael. He likes her name too. They talk about the moon. She says the people in the valley are praying for him. Her father orders her to go back to the house and pray for forgiveness. She leaves, and Dupré tells him to stay away from them. Fury complies.

         Preston orders his men to lock up Dupré and disrupt his farm. He tells Jeanette she will not be harmed. He asks where she is going with the table-cloth, and he goes out and shakes it for her.

Men see the signal and get their horses. Kangaroos run away. The horsemen arrive at the Dupré farm. Blackie and others are captured and put in a barn. Fury arrives and puts on a straw hat, pretending to be with Preston’s men. He goes in the house and knocks down Preston. He gets a gun and orders Preston to have Blackie brought in for questioning. Blackie comes in, and Fury gives him a shotgun. Fury goes out, and Blackie knocks out a man with a jug.

         In the barn Fury and Coughy capture the guards and free their men. Fury goes back and tells Blackie to put Preston to work. Preston offers to set up a meeting with Trist. Blackie and Coughy push Preston into a well several times.

         Dupré refuses to give Fury hospitality and tells him he and his men will be paid. Dupré gets his treasure box and pays Fury and then tells him to get out. Fury leaves, and Jeanette complains to her father. At the well Fury hands the money to Blackie.

         In a montage they ride and visit settlers. Newspapers report the stories, and the Governor says he will go there himself. He and his aide Hamilton ride in a carriage.

         Fury and others are eating at a table. They talk about going to a dance.

         In his home at dinner Trist talks with Preston and Mergon. Fury comes in the window and takes a plate of food. Trist asks Fury if he is staying in the country. Fury says he hopes to bring his business to a conclusion. Preston gets a pistol, but Blackie comes in and tells him to drop it. Fury throws the fine pistol to Blackie, who trades it for his. Fury tosses a pheasant to Blackie, who steals another item. Fury warns Trist of the consequences. Fury orders Blackie to put it back, but he takes it with him.

         Jeanette is trying on a dress that Mrs. Bailey got for her. This dissolves into her dancing with Fury at the dance. They go outside and sit down. Blackie and a courtesan enter, causing the music to stop as everyone gapes. Mrs. Bailey welcomes both of them and gets the music going again. Blackie dances and steals a necklace from a lady.

         Outside Tess asks her boyfriend about his other girl. Jeanette tells Fury she is glad to be with him. He says he is an escaped convict and is not for her. She sees Tess kissing her man and asks her how she got him to kiss her. Tess says she kissed him. Jeanette goes back to Fury and kisses him. He says they should go back to the dance. Dupré points his shotgun at Fury, but someone throws a dish at him. Jeanette says she will go home.

         Blackie rides a horse with his woman and gives her the necklace. She gives him a kiss. She gets off at home, and Blackie kisses her before he goes. She looks for the necklace, and Blackie has it again.

         Jeanette at home has changed her dress and leaves on a horse. Her father wakes and finds the note she left.

         Dupré tells Trist where he will find Fury’s men. Trist orders Dupré kept in a cell. Dupré offers money to his jailer, who goes on his own to get it.

         Fury asks to see Blackie’s box and finds the things he has stolen and the fine pistol. Fury accuses him of jeopardizing their plan. Fury took money to give it back to the settlers. They quarrel, and Blackie tells Bertie he is through with Fury.

         Jeanette comes in to see Fury.

         Outside Trist and his men start shooting at the convicts in the hideout. Inside Fury says they are after him. He will try to draw their fire away from the house so that they can get the girl out. Fury goes out a window, and Coughy runs out the door. Blackie puts Jeanette out the window. Trist orders his men to go after Fury, who gallops away on a horse. Trist shoots Coughy and sends his men into the cabin.

         Eight men on horses are chasing Fury. He comes to a high waterfall and jumps into the water below with his horse.

         Blackie goes to Dupré’s house and enters. The jailer hides and watches Blackie find the treasure box. Blackie knocks out the jailer and leaves. The jailer reaches up and knocks down a candle that starts a fire.

         Trist returns home and is told that the Governor will arrive that night. He tells them to clean up the place and hide the whipping post.

         The Baileys see the Dupré’s house on fire.

         The Governor arrives with his entourage at Trist’s place. Trist welcomes him and tells him that they expect to catch Fury soon.

         The next day Fury and Jeanette return to her destroyed home. Bailey tells her that her father’s body was found burned beyond recognition. Fury finds the fine pistol and says that Blackie did it for his money. Fury takes responsibility and says he will shoot him on sight.

         Bertie finds Blackie in the inn and tells him that Fury thinks he killed Dupré. Blackie tells  Bertie that they are going to Sydney, and he has plenty of money. Bertie says he stole the money and must have done it. Bertie leaves. A woman wants to collect the reward for Blackie, who has been drinking.

         Fury is looking for Blackie and enters the inn, but men inside capture him.

         Bertie goes to the Baileys and tells them that they captured Fury. They prepare to fight.

         Blackie is in jail and tells Preston that he did not kill Dupré.

         Dupré is still in jail.

         Trist tells the Governor that he is going to hang Fury for the murder of Dupré. The Governor asks what was his defense and decides to question him himself. Fury says he is innocent, though he is an escaped convict and has borne arms against Trist but only to stop injustices. He accuses Trist of trying to take over the farms of the settlers. People arrive and break through the gates. Fury tells them to stop and that this is the Governor. Bailey apologizes.

Dupré calls out from jail, and Preston threatens him. Blackie breaks out of the jail while Preston goes in another cell and knocks out Dupré. Blackie finds Preston and knocks him out. He drags Dupré out of the cell, and Coughy asks Blackie to get him out of jail.

         Trist tells the Governor there was bad blood between Fury and Dupré. Blackie brings Dupré to them, and Dupré says he was held against his will.

         In the stables Trist gets a horse. Coughy shoots him and falls.

         Inside a woman explains to the Governor what happened and says Blackie is a fine man. The Governor calls Dupré who says that they owe everything to Fury. He asks him to be lenient. Fury, Bertie, and Blackie are brought in. The Governor adds three years to the sentence of Bertie and ten years for Blackie. The Governor says that Fury’s acts were done under extenuating circumstances, and he pardons him, paroling the other two men into his custody.

         This adventure story depicts oppression resulting from the English prisoners sent to Australia in large numbers and the exploitation of the wealthy over poorer settlers. The English also repressed the Irish, and one of their leaders fights the injustice in Australia where many people were descended from convicts.

Copyright © 2011 by Sanderson Beck

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