After returning home from the Korean War and discovering that his public relations firm was sold, traumatized ex-POW Alan goes to work for his old company and attempts to prove that propaganda-pushing communists are now secretly running the show.
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Pretty small-scale political thriller that doesn't rise above the limitations of its B-movie budget, but then there's Dana Andrews to give everything an air of much-needed gravitas. Casting public opinion makers as villains is an interesting position, but Tourneur the stylist doesn't feel as present in The Fearmakers.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars. The Fearmakers felt like one of those early gems (such as Network or A Face in the Crowd) that's way ahead of its time in spotting corruption or mutation decades before it would become so blatantly obvious. While Jacques Tourneur's direction is definitely there, a developed story worthy of his style unfortunately wasn't. Not to say it isn't worth a watch, its just not all it could've been.
Bien des lourdeurs scénaristes n'empêchent pas que cette honnête réalisation d'un Jacques Tourneur quelque peu affadi, d'aborder courageusement un sujet inédit pour l'époque, la désinformation et la manipulation de l'opinion publique par le trucage et la malversation des pseudo-enquêtes médiatiques
A chamber piece as B-movie: cheap, hermetic atmosphere. Some bizarre scenes and not very good supporting actors. It's difficult to feel the manipulation of the masses, when all you see is a handful of people talk in their offices... The ending in front of the Lincoln memorial doesn't feel real at all...
A good, minor work in the Tourneur canon. Dana Andrews is a PR man returning from time as a PoW in the Korean war to find that his former business partner has died and apparently sold their company. It pins the new evil in PR onto communists but this is only asserted obliquely - it's really an attack on the corrupt mediatization of US politics. The fight and kiss at the Lincoln Memorial are absurd and yet wonderful.