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The Fearmakers (1958)

A Korean War veteran co-operating with a Senate committee uncovers subversives.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Alan Eaton
Jim McGinnis
Lorraine Dennis
Vivian Loder
Harold 'Hal' Loder
Roy Gordon ...
Sen. Walder
Joel Marston ...
Rodney Hillyer
Army Doctor
Dr. Gregory Jessup
Janet Brandt ...
Walder's Secretary
Fran Andrade ...
TWA Stewardess
Barney Bond
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Fortier ...
Col. Buchane (scenes deleted)


A Korean War veteran co-operating with a Senate committee uncovers subversives.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Masters of FEAR! Masters of INTRIGUE! Merchants of MURDER!




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Release Date:

October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Angstmacher  »

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Did You Know?


Shadow of boom mic visible when Alan Eaton (Dana Andrews) falls back against the window blinds in his office. See more »


Alan Eaton: You know, Lorraine, you're not only very kind... you're very lovely.
Lorraine Dennis: [Breaking into a big smile] I thought you'd *never* notice!
See more »

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User Reviews

Jacques Tourneur directed this artifact
2 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Despite the fact that it's a B movie,"The Fearmakers" from 1958 is absolutely fascinating to watch today. Directed by Jacques Tourneur, it stars Dana Andrews, Dick Foran, more well-known for westerns, and -- get ready - Mel Torme! And he was good! Andrews plays Alan Eaton, a public relations firm co-owner who fought in Korea and spent time in the enemy camp being tortured. Now back home, he suffers from headaches and blackouts occasionally. When he arrives at his old company, he finds out that his partner died and that the power of attorney he gave his partner was used to sell the business out from under him to Jim McGinnis (Dick Foran). McGinnis offers Alan a consultant job, and he is encouraged to take it by a Senator friend, who suspects shady business in the firm and wants Alan to check it out.

Here's the shady business. The firm is suspected of using skewed polling data to make certain politicians look good. Alan has plenty to say about the way questions are asked in polls, and to whom, and he also has some things to say about lobbyists. Anyway, he needs to get his hands on the cards that apparently list the people polled or how they were chosen. He's also suspicious of his partner's "accident" and wants to gather information about that.

Of course, today we call these shady people campaign managers, marketing people, Karl Rove -- I sat through the conversation about special interests and polling and thought I had entered the Twilight zone. I had -- it was 1958, and this guy had ethics that don't exist today since the types of things being referred to are acceptable.

This film seems short for the material, and there are too many coincidences in the script to make it not totally believable. Andrews does a good job, but by this point had hit the skids - gone were the big 20th Century Fox films, possibly due to his alcoholism. Though he continued to act, he became a very wealthy real estate man and began speaking for the National Alcoholism Council in the '70s. He also served as President of the Screen Actors Guild. Dick Foran is appropriately slimy, and Mel Torme is excellent as an assistant who knows too much.

Very interesting movie to view given today's political workings.

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