Ring of Fear (1954)

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    • Ring of Fear (1954)



      Information from IMDb

      Plot 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 Mickey Spillane is closing in, and O'Malley turns loose a man-eating tiger to create a diversion and some havoc while he escapes. O'Malley decides to hide in an empty boxcar. The curious-and-hungry tiger follows him in.
      Written by Les Adams

      Full Cast
      Clyde Beatty ... Himself
      Mickey Spillane ... Himself
      Pat O'Brien ... Frank Wallace
      Sean McClory ... Dublin O'Malley
      Marian Carr ... Valerie St. Dennis
      John Bromfield ... Armand St. Dennis
      Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez ... Pedro Gonzales (as Gonzalez-Gonzales)
      Emmett Lynn ... Twitchy
      Jack Stang ... Himself
      Kenneth Tobey ... Shreveport
      Kathy Cline ... Suzette St. Dennis
      Vince Barnett ... Vendor (uncredited)
      Booth Colman ... Psychiatrist (uncredited)
      Poodles Hanneford ... Bareback Riding Act (uncredited)
      Don C. Harvey ... Man Killed by O'Malley (uncredited)
      Harry Hines ... Roustabout (uncredited)
      Queenie Leonard ... Tillie, Wardrobe Mistress / Fortune Teller (uncredited)
      Wendell Niles ... Radio Announcer (voice) (uncredited)
      Henry Rowland ... Lunch Counter Proprietor (uncredited)
      Arthur Space ... Psychiatrist (uncredited)
      Forrest Taylor ... Psychiatrist (uncredited)
      Karl Wallenda ... Himself (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Paul Fix (original screenplay) and
      Philip MacDonald (original screenplay) and
      James Edward Grant (original screenplay)
      Mickey Spillane uncredited

      Original Music
      Arthur Lange
      Emil Newman
      Paul Dunlap (uncredited)

      Edwin B. DuPar

      Originally intended to be photographed in 3-D and to be titled "Man-Killer."

      Average Shot Length = ~8 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~8.4 seconds.

      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.

      In the scene where Dublin coerces Twitchy into sabotaging Armand St. Dennis's trapeze, right before Dublin leaves Twitchy is holding in his hands the handkerchief that he's been using as he applies his makeup; in the next shot, as Dublin leaves, he's clutching the bottle of liquor that Dublin has plied him with; in the shot after that, he is once again holding the handkerchief.

      Filming Location
      Deming, New Mexico, USA

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 6 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Duke's Productions- Ring of Fear (1954)

      Duke used real people Clyde Beatty and Mickey Spillane
      to play themselves
      A couple of 'Pals' were involved
      both in the direction and the screenplay.
      James Edward Grant ( who he later used in his own circus film Circus World)
      favourite Batjac director William Wellman and Paul Fix

      User Review-1
      Ring of Fear is a circus murder mystery thriller,
      and that’s a combination I certainly can’t resist.
      dfordoomof of Classic Movie Ramblings

      It was made by John Wayne’s production company which was responsible for some of the
      more interesting thrillers of the 50s. Wayne had somehow managed to convince himself
      that his days as a star were numbered and that he should reinvent himself as a producer.
      In fact of course he remained a huge box-office draw right up until his final film in 1976
      but the move into production proved to be quite fruitful as well.

      Ring of Fear has been criticised for having a corny melodramatic contrived plot.
      Those who see these things as a weakness have missed the point.
      This is a circus movie. It’s supposed to be outrageous and over-the-top and melodramatic.
      That’s what circus movies are all about.

      The circus in question is the Clyde Beatty Circus.
      Beatty was one of the most famous of real-life animal trainers and as quite a celebrity,
      and the Clyde Beatty Circus was a real circus. Beatty plays himself in this movie.

      The circus is being dogged by bad luck. Animals mysteriously escape.
      Trapeze artists are injured when equipment breaks even though these artists are thorough
      professionals who don’t make mistakes like that.
      Beatty himself is almost killed when a training rope restraining a tiger breaks.
      It’s starting to become obvious that all this is more than bad luck.

      What do you do in a situation like this? So you call in the cops? Of corse not.
      You call in a a famous crime novelist.
      In this case Beatty calls in Mickey Spillane, played in the movie by famous crime novelist
      Mickey Spillane. Spillane soon picks a likely suspect.
      Dublin O’Malley (Sean McClory) is a colourful larger-than-life character.
      He used to be the circus’s ring director.
      He’d disappeared for several years but now he’s back, and he’s the ringmaster again.

      What the movie audience knows, and what the other characters in the movie don’t know,
      is that when Dublin O’Malley disappeared from circulation for a few years he was in fact
      in a hospital for the criminally insane.
      That’s not a spoiler - that information is revealed right at the very start of the movie.
      The movies uses the classic thriller technique of creating suspense by revealing information rather than concealing it.

      Dublin was in love with beautiful trapeze artist Valerie who married another man.
      The husband-and-wife team now works for the Clyde Beatty Circus.
      But has Dublin come to terms with the fact that Valerie chose someone else?

      Dublin has an ally, a clown called Twitchy. Dublin has a major hold over Twitchy.
      We’re never told the precise details but it’s implied that Twitchy committed a sex murder years
      earlier. Whatever it was, it’s apparently enough to guarantee Twitchy the death sentence if
      Dublin were ever to make a phone call to the cops.

      Mickey Spillane will have to work fast if he’s to prevent further tragedies.

      It’s all very melodramatic but it’s great fun. Clyde Beatty can’t act but he has a certain presence.
      Mickey Spillane has lots of presence and he’s surprisingly very effective,
      and very entertaining. The movie has thrills and spills and lots of excitement.
      This might be, when judged in conventional terms, a bad movie but it’s an immensely enjoyable
      romp and I thoroughly recommend it. Especially if, like me, you’re a sucker for circus movies.

      User Review-2

      Cashing In On The Greatest Show On Earth
      24 January 2007 | by bkoganbing (Buffalo, New York)

      After Cecil B. DeMille's extravaganza, The Greatest Show On Earth came out, he showed Charlton Heston a review from a paper and told him it was the greatest review he will ever have as an actor. The reviewer remarked at what a great performance DeMille got out of the circus boss. Of course Charlton Heston wasn't CHARLTON HESTON back then.

      What John Wayne and partner Robert Fellows did instead of getting actors hired a couple of real people to play themselves, Clyde Beatty and Mickey Spillane. Good thing these two did not attempt to create a character and just played themselves.

      Clyde Beatty, jungle cat trainer extraordinaire, just isn't and actor. The poor man looked very embarrassed indeed. My guess is that he wanted to publicize his circus in the way that Ringling Brothers had their circus publicized by DeMille. I'm sure that is the genesis of Ring of Fear. Beatty had played himself before in the Abbott&Costello film Africa Screams. There like here his dialog was kept to a minimum.

      When you've got a string of unexplained accidents at the circus, what do you do, but hire a mystery writer to solve the crime. That's what Beatty does, his circus boss played by Pat O'Brien gets Mickey Spillane obviously thinking he's really Mike Hammer. Fortunately what Spillane does is get a real detective to do the actual work.

      Like The Greatest Show on Earth, Ring of Fear has a psychotic doing all these dastardly deeds. Sean McClory steps into the able psychotic shoes of Lyle Bettger. Bettger's psychosis however in the other film was only part of that plot. Here the suspense is killed rather early when you know right away that McClory is the bad guy.

      In his memoirs The Wind at my Back, Pat O'Brien took time to thank John Wayne for this part. His career was in doldrums at the time and O'Brien was grateful for the part. He certainly out acted his two co-stars.

      The circus acts are entertaining, they're the best part of Ring of Fear. John Wayne later on appeared in a circus film of his own, Circus World, that director/writer James Edward Grant did the script for him. That Cinerama epic, unfortunately ran into an unforeseen problem.

      The re-release of The Greatest Show On Earth.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 11 times, last by ethanedwards ().