Three psychiatrists find that Dublin O'Malley has homicidal tendencies, an under-diagnosis at best. O'Malley kills a guard, escapes from the mental institution, and then kills a railroad ... See full summary »
Three psychiatrists find that Dublin O'Malley has homicidal tendencies, an under-diagnosis at best. O'Malley kills a guard, escapes from the mental institution, and then kills a railroad worker. He changes clothes with the dead man and pushes the corpse in front of a train. He then heads for the Clyde Beatty Circus, having a yen for aerialist Valerie St. Dennis, now married to her partner. O'Malley is also seeking revenge against Beatty. He approaches alcoholic clown, Twitchy, and, between booze and blackmail, forces Twitchy to commit acts of sabotage against the circus. The performers think the show is jinxed, so Beatty asks crime-author Mickey Spillane to come by and see what he can do about the situation, and the show's general manager, Frank Wallace, agrees to give him full cooperation and isn't seen much anymore. Spillane brings in Jack Stang to help him. Twitchy is about to go to Beatty and tell all, but O'Malley kills him and makes it look like an accident. But the fictional ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Final film of veteran director D. Ross Lederman (although he did not direct but served as Associate Producer). See more »
During the scene at the beginning of the movie, where Dublin is pleading his case before the prison board, the photograph he places in his right breast pocket changes position between camera shots. See more »
While RING OF FEAR may not qualify for Best Film of the Year (as DeMille's circus epic did), it is a colorful and fast moving story of life under the big circus tent, whereby an ex-employee returns to his old job seeking vengeance on none other than CLYDE BEATTY and intent on evening the score for an ex-girlfriend who married another man (JOHN BROMFIELD). Beatty's lion-taming act is fascinating to watch.
The film's main purpose seems to be in showcasing the circus life, the roustabouts setting up the tents, the training of wild animals (and I do mean wild), the petty arguments among the trapeze artists and other performers, and all of it supervised by a caustic manager (PAT O'BRIEN) in the sort of brassy wise-guy role he could have performed in his sleep. For added interest, there's a laid-back performance from MICKEY SPILLANE as himself, helping O'Brien solve the case of the psychopath bent on murderous revenge, who is hiding out in the traveling circus.
SEAN McCLORY is guilty of overacting in many a scene but he does create a fascinating offbeat character as the madman who has escaped from confinement and is intent on revenge. The last fifteen minutes of the film contain more suspense and excitement than deMille managed to do in his lengthy, pretentious Oscar-winning epic THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.
Summing up: Not masterpiece theater as far as acting and script are concerned, but interesting enough as a suspense tale played against a colorful circus background, to maintain a reasonable amount of interest.
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