Starring Richard Denning, Sheila Ryan, Mary Beth Hughes, Buster Crabbe,
Directed by William Berke
Runtime: 60 min.
Print Quality: B
Caged Fury was the last of three Pine-Thomas productions tradeshown in
Los Angeles within the same February week in 1948. The story takes place
in a seedy circus, where malevolent clown Smiley (Buster Crabbe, in a
truly despicable characterization) plots to further the career of aspiring
lion tamer Kit Warren (Sheila Ryan). Knocking off Kit's main competition
Lola Tremain (Mary Beth Hughes), Smiley pulls strings to have Kit teamed
with Lola's former partner Blaney Lewis (Richard Denning). When Blaney
himself falls in love with Kit, the outraged Smiley retaliates by setting fire
to the circus (via stock footage from 1933's King of the Jungle, which also
starred Buster Crabbe). A fascinating study in unvarnished evil, Caged
Fury suffers only from its tacky production values.