Fear Is the Key (1972) torrent download

Fear Is the Key

1972

Action / Crime / Drama

6.3

Synopsis

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. —Jonathon Dabell

Director

Michael Tuchner

Cast

Barry Newman
as John Talbot
Suzy Kendall
as Sarah Ruthven
Dolph Sweet
as Jablonsky
Ray McAnally
as Ruthven

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 7 /10

Forgotten thriller is well worth a look

FEAR IS THE KEY is an unusual and somewhat low key thriller of the 1970s. It's based on a novel by Alistair MacLean that I should imagine few people have heard of, and it stars Barry Newman of VANISHING POINT fame. I was surprised to find out that this is a UK production because you wouldn't be able to tell from watching it. The fact that it was a flop on release means that I'd never heard of it before I saw it showing on TV.

The film begins with an electrifying opening, full of twists, sudden violence, and high speed action. Then we get a lengthy, well-shot car chase clearly included to capitalise on Newman's reputation as a 'car chase' actor, before the movie settles into a rather bogged-down, if not confusing, storyline. However, there seem to be sudden eruptions of violence around every corner, so it's never less than watchable.

Eventually, though, it all makes sense, leading to a climax with an interesting setting. Newman is an acceptable hero but I was particularly excited to see Euro-starlet Suzy Kendall's (THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE) appearance. The by rote villain duties are provided by John Vernon, but the real standout is an incredibly youthful Ben Kingsley - yes, complete with his own head of hair - as a henchman. By the end of its running time, FEAR IS THE KEY has offered up plentiful action, some convoluted plotting, and just a few decent twists, and I thought it passed the time well for what it is.

Reviewed by mark.waltz 8 /10

A rollercoaster ride with lots of climbing then very steep falls.

There's lots of flat surface then sudden hills then very deep falls and loop de loops that will have you on edge, breathing as you prepare for the next chase, the next shootout, the next twist. Just who Barry Newman's John Talbot is or why he is framed for a series of crimes in Louisiana to get him involved in something darker is never really clear but that's inconsequential when you find yourself on the journey of a lifetime. He's being held in court when he grabs a gun and takes pretty Suzy Kendall hostage. This leads into one of the greatest chase sequences in film history where he seems to have an angel on his shoulder as he gets away everytime the state police discover him.

When the chase is finally over, he finds himself in the huge mansion of Kendall's father, and that is when you realize that this has been all some sort of set-up that Kendall seems to have been an innocent pawn in. But nobody is really whom they appear to be, with the exception of the nasty John Vernon who is twice as slimy as he was as "Animal House's" notorious Dean Wormer, a truly hissable villain.

Based on a novel by adventure writer Alastair MacLean, this is an absolute thrill ride that seems to know when to give the audience a moment to breathe. The plot goes a bit haywire by the time Vernon's agenda becomes clear, but by that time, you're hooked and don't care how ridiculous it is. Kendall goes from fragile victim to a fighting machine and makes for a most terrific heroine. Newman is very funny considering that his character is in an unexplainable predicament, only hinted at in the film's prologue that you have to remember as it pops back into the narrative at the most bizarre point in the film. I'd have to call this one of the top ten movies of the 70's that most people have never heard of.

Reviewed by bob the moo N/A

Good thriller but lacks the power of the book

Drawn from Alistair McLean's book of the same name this is a solid thriller that twists and turns nicely throughout. Barry Newman is good as Talbot, the character who finds himself drawn into shady dealings. While the mobsters are adequate (including an early appearance by Ben Kingsley!).

The twist are good but if you've read the book it really takes away from the movie as there is not a whole lot else to hold the interest. However the twists keep you guessing what people's motives are almost up till the end - having said that it's not in the league of Se7en or Usual Suspects so don't expect too much.

The ending is a strange anti-climax to the film, I won't give it away but it is rather muted considering the plot up till that point.

Overall a good story but let down by a lack of any real extended tension and a disappointing conclusion. Turn off the TV and go and read the book - it's much better!

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