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Fear Is the Key (1972)

Following the death of his family in an aeroplane 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 ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
John Talbot
...
Sarah Ruthven
...
Vyland
Dolph Sweet ...
Jablonsky
...
Royale
...
Ruthven
...
Larry
Elliott Sullivan ...
Judge Mollison
Roland Brand ...
Deputy
...
FBI Man
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Storyline

Following the death of his family in an aeroplane 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:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

26 December 1972 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

O Medo é a Chave  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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 »

Soundtracks

From Sea Bed To Surface
Written by Roy Budd
Produced by Jack Fishman
Performed by Roy Budd And His Orchestra
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User Reviews

 
Forgotten thriller is well worth a look
25 April 2016 | by See all my reviews

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.


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