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Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
Movies Under the Dome: Ring of Fear

Movies Under the Dome: Ring of Fear

Date & Time
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
7:00 am
200 North Main, Bloomington, IL, 61701
(309) 827-0428
Movies Under the Dome: Ring of Fear

Tue Jun 28 19:00:00 2016

Join the Museum for a new film series featuring movies with a McLean County connection! The first installment of the series will be shown on Tuesday, June 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Museum’s Governor Fifer Courtroom. This program is free and open to the public.

The first feature film will be the 1954 “Big Top” thriller Ring of Fear, starring Clyde Beatty, world famous animal trainer and circus owner; Mickey Spillane, American crime novelist,; and Pat O’Brien. Clyde Beatty (who plays himself in the film) has a deranged killer on the loose in his circus. In order to solve the crime, Beatty calls in crime novelist, Mickey Spillane (who plays himself) to catch the killer.

The film also features Bloomington’s own Richard Shipley, a long time circus elephant trainer. Shipley apparently ran away to join the circus at age 16, but returned to Bloomington a short time later and worked at Boylan Brothers Ice Cream Company for about 20 years before turning to the circus life for another 28 years. Shipley was a member of the Clyde Beatty Circus for about 10 years starting in 1949 and plays himself in the movie. Additionally, several other local circus performers, such as The Wallendas, had small roles throughout the film’s circus performance scenes. Furthermore, Shipley will be one of the featured characters during the 2016 Evergreen Cemetery Walk this October.

Circus related artifacts from the Museum’s archival and object collections will be on display (that are typically not otherwise) before and after the film, including a wooden cane used by Richard Shipley. During the short intermission, Maureen Brunsdale, Special Collections and Rare Books librarian at Illinois State University, will speak about the circus performers featured in the film, Clyde Beatty’s relationship to Bloomington, and other local circus history related to the film.

This film is rated PG-13 for mild violence and intense situations. Canned soda and popcorn will be available for purchase before the movie. For more information about this program, please contact the Education Department at or 309-827-0428.