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Ringmaster (1998)

 -  Comedy  -  25 November 1998 (USA)
3.1
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Ratings: 3.1/10 from 4,364 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 33 critic

Jerry Springer stars as more or less himself, the host of a raunchy, controversial and popular Los Angeles talk show which features everyday people with problems and who frequently vent ... See full summary »

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Title: Ringmaster (1998)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jerry Farrelly
...
Angel Zorzak
...
Troy Davenport
...
Connie Zorzak
...
Mel Riley
...
Starletta
Ashley Holbrook ...
Willie
...
Vonda Simmons
...
Leshawnette
Krista Tesreau ...
Catherine Winicott
Dawn Maxey ...
Natalie
Maximilliana ...
Charlie / Claire
...
Demond
...
Rusty
Jerry Giles ...
Floyd Merkel
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Storyline

Jerry Springer stars as more or less himself, the host of a raunchy, controversial and popular Los Angeles talk show which features everyday people with problems and who frequently vent thrir problems on the air. A new group of guests are flown in for one show who include white trailer trash from Sarasota FL; Connie, whose current husband has cheated on her with her nymphomaniac teenage daughter, Angel, for which Connie has gotten revenge by having sex with Angel's fiance; and from Detroit, black trash Starletta, whose boyfriend, Damone, has slept with all of her girlfriends. Soon the paths of all of these parties cross which leads to more sex, arguments, physical violence, and Jerry sweating out just another day. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jerry Springer: Ringmaster  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,344,022 (USA) (27 November 1998)

Gross:

$9,247,881 (USA) (5 February 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The trailer park folks are supposed to live in Central Florida. (Jaime Pressly passes a Tampa sign, Willie mentions that he works at the Walmart in Lakeland, etc.) But when her stepfather bails her out, he does so at the Broward County jail (written in large letters on the side of the building). Broward County is almost exactly 200 miles south of Lakeland. See more »

Quotes

Vonda: Move your knees out da way!
Starletta: If you're ass wasn't so big, you wouldn't need all that fuckin' seat room! Bitch needs to be on a diet. You know the TV gonna put 10lbs on your big ass!
See more »

Connections

References The Dukes of Hazzard (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

As If It Were Yesterday
Written & Performed by Joe Lervold
Courtesy of MasterSource
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User Reviews

Justification of trash culture, the odd laugh, a few interesting moments and a load of titillation does not a film make
19 July 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Jerry Farrelly runs a successful television chat show that revels in unusual relationships – but even he is left flabbergasted by some of the issues that come onto his show. While he tries to explain the popularity of his show, several groups of guest arrive for his newest show. Angel lives in a trailer with her mother and stepfather – but is sleeping with him! When her mother Connie finds out she gives Angel's boyfriend a blowjob in revenge. Meanwhile Starletta catches boyfriend Demond sleeping with both Vonda and Leshawnetta. The natural step for both groups is to appear on Jerry's show – even if it makes the conflict greater.

I started watching this film once but didn't review it because I gave it up as a bad job once it turned into nudity for nudity's sake, however I decided that I'd give it another try despite my better judgment. Of course, it is not any good but this is not to say that it was one of the worst films ever made because it wasn't. The plot focuses around two sets of trash that emulate the guests on Jerry's real show and this is part of the problem. The characters here seem to revel in ignorance and trashiness and it makes it hard to really care about any of them. This isn't helped by the fact that they have no real story to speak of – their bits are set up and then they all flirt/fight in the hotel on their way to the recording of the show.

Not enough happens to justify a 'story' so called so it resorts to 'sexy' clinches, fighting and vulgarity.

It is a shame because the film does have a few interesting moments – although you wouldn't think it from the reviewers on this site. One interesting point is the character of Connie; she is damaged and hurt and wants more than the vulgarity she has – but when the fighting and swearing happens, this interesting part of the character is forgotten aside from a few all too rare sensitive moments. The film has a few interesting lines about the show but it doesn't throw itself open enough, instead it uses its platform to defend itself and attack its critics; I don't mind it doing this but there was no balanced view to be had here – although it is hard to disagree with Jerry's speech near the end that defends the fact that people are like this…even if we don't like it. Parts of it are a little funny but this, and some other qualities are just lost in a plotless film that is vulgar rather than interesting and noisy rather than really funny.

The cast are average as you would expect from the material they are given. Hagan manages to create a few good moments but she is betrayed by the film for her good work. Pressly is very sexy – even as white trailer trash! She doesn't have much to do apart from be sexy, so it is just as well that she does it well. Robinson, Ambrose and Micheaux have all done some good jobs in other films/shows but here they are loud, brash black stereotypes and they embarrass themselves. Why action star White bothered to do this is beyond me, he has nothing to do apart from flirt around and get to kiss a couple of girls. McNamara is pretty good and sends himself and the show up equally well. Springer is so-so and he overdoes the 'world-weary' thing and never lets interesting moments, where he seems bothered, go anywhere of value. Like the material itself, the cast throw up some OK moments but these are lost in a sea of bad stuff.

Overall this is a bad film although it has moments that show it could have been more interesting (if not actually good per se). However, without a decent plot the interesting ideas/moments only occasionally float to the top by chance but the dominant qualities are ones of vulgarity, cheap titillation, fighting and ignorance – none of which are reason enough to watch it.


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