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Ring of Fear
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Escaped mental patient Dublin O'Malley (Sean McClory) returns to his previous employment at the Clyde Beatty Circus to wreak his revenge. The target of his vendetta is the lovely aerialist Valerie St. Dennis (Marian Carr), an old girlfriend. Mystery author Mickey Spillane is called in to investigate as Dublin's crimes grow more sinister.
RING OF FEAR was primarily made as a showcase for the real-life Clyde Beatty Circus; Beatty himself gives quite a competant performance and the circus acts are well-photographed. Marian Carr is a very beautiful woman but her role of Valerie is so one-dimensional it's scary. Mickey Spillane's inclusion adds another oddball elememt to this very strange movie.
Only Sean McClory adds any sort of credibility with his searing, sensitive portrayal of the unhinged Dublin. The movie itself plays out in a brisk 90 minutes with plenty of lush visuals in CinemaScope to distract audiences from the wafer-thin plot.
It's not "The Greatest Show on Earth", but RING OF FEAR is certainly worth a look for classic movie fans. (Single-sided, single-layer disc).
Aside from McClory, coming over like a garrulous young Benny Hill, no-one has much of a part, which isn't a bad thing considering Spillane is the only one who is even remotely convincing playing himself - Stang looks like he's taken a few punches too many and Beatty literally has to shake his head to change his expression: the two men's reaction shot to an offscreen death-by-tiger is almost worth the price of admission on its own. The script is pretty mundane - no input from Spillane, but instead credited to Paul Fix, Philip MacDonald and John Wayne regular James Edward Grant, who also directs - but it's not without a certain sideshow appeal. And where else could you get to see Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez lose a fight with a kangaroo? Annoyingly, although an extract from the Spillane-hosted trailer appears on other Batjac DVDs, the full trailer hasn't been included: in fact, aside from a 2.35:1 widescreen transfer and a stereo remix, every effort has been spared on this no-extras disc.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Shows that it was never really put together well. Only worth seeing due to the great circus acts. I suspect if someone knew how to edit it could be saved.Published on May 10, 2014 by James R. Morrella
Yes this is some what of a take off of "the greatest show on earth" but the Clyde Beatty Circus was just as good in its own way. Read morePublished on March 31, 2014 by richard schillhahn
Mickey Spalline plays a bit part. Great if you like the circus. Otherwise the plot is kind of thin.Published on November 8, 2010 by bdinmichigan
I enjoy Mickey Spillane the author..However, Spillane the actor is another animal. In Ring of Fear, Spillane attacks a role he can handle Mickey Spillane. Read morePublished on September 20, 2006 by Bennet Pomerantz
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