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Fear Is the Key (1972)

A man is in radio contact with his family when their airplane is shot down. He wants those responsible and becomes a criminal to get a job as deep sea diver with those salvaging the plane's cargo.

Director:

Michael Tuchner

Writers:

Alistair MacLean (novel), Robert Carrington (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barry Newman ... John Talbot
Suzy Kendall ... Sarah Ruthven
John Vernon ... Vyland
Dolph Sweet ... Jablonski
Ben Kingsley ... Royale
Ray McAnally ... Ruthven
Peter Marinker ... Larry
Elliott Sullivan Elliott Sullivan ... Judge Mollison
Roland Brand Roland Brand ... Deputy
Tony Anholt ... FBI Man
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Storyline

Following the death of his family in an airplane crash, a man plots an elaborate revenge scheme on those responsible. By setting himself up as a criminal, he plans to get close to a certain tycoon who has been approached by the culprits to help them retrieve the cargo of the lost plane. Written by Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the right hands, fear is the deadliest weapon of all.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 December 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

O Medo é a Chave See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

KLK, Anglo-EMI See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This adaptation of an Alistair MacLean paperback page-turner was released between the MacLean filmed-novel adaptations Puppet on a Chain (1971) and Caravan to Vaccares (1974). See more »

Goofs

Lights on the car which were broken when the car arrives on the beach during the chase are fixed when the car leaves the beach. See more »

Quotes

John Talbot: How did you recognize me?
Jablonski: I didn't. You picked a face that's well known in these parts. This is Miss Sarah Ruthven, daughter of Alexander Ruthven, spelled O I L. All those oil rigs out in the Gulf? They belong to Daddy.
See more »

Soundtracks

The Swamp
(uncredited)
Written by Roy Budd
Produced by Jack Fishman
Performed by Roy Budd And His Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazing twist for first time viewing!
6 August 2008 | by anthonymclaughlin86See all my reviews

Firstly I will say that this film definitely has an impact like the original 'Planet of Apes' with the late great Charlton Heston.

However, with multiple viewing you will discover more and more about the lead character 'Talbot' - so believably played out by the under-rated talented actor Barry Newman, and the storyline will become even more engaging. I would simply recommend you either buy the DVD or await the Blue-Ray version when it comes out from the date I have posted this review.

The supporting cast is very good, including Dolph Sweet, John Vernon, earliest appearance of Ben Kingsley (with some hair still) and the lovely Suzy Kendall.

It is not until near the end of the film that you realise where the film is actually going with it's unique ending inside a mini-submarine (or Bath-Escape as it was called) called the Fathom. The car chase is well choreographed and in a Smokey and the Bandit style - even longer than the car chases in Bullitt and French Connection.

Without going into too much detail, I have not read the book by the classic novelist Alistair MaClean, but if it is even better than the theatre adaptation of the story then maybe one day I will have to seek out the book, because this film, despite it's old age is a classic in my mind.

Find it, and I guarantee you will like it a lot. It takes a bit of getting used to when seeing Barry Newman in a role like this, because he definitely has an 'un-likely' hero look about him. But the more you watch it, the more you will realise that he has the perfect face for the role.


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