Watch Ringmaster

  • R
  • 1998
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 3.3  (5,361)

Ringmaster is a 1998 comedy-drama that stars Jerry Springer, Jaime Pressly, and William McNamara. Directed by Neil Abramson, the film takes a mockumentary-style approach to explore the sensationalized world of tabloid talk shows. The film follows Jerry Farrelly (played by Springer), the host of a controversial talk show called The Jerry Show. Jerry is a charismatic yet flawed figure, dealing with personal demons and a strained relationship with his daughter Angel (played by Pressly). As the show's ratings start to plummet, Jerry decides to focus on a newly-discovered guest named Starletta (played by Tangie Ambrose), who claims to be a former lover of Jerry's.

Along the way, the film introduces a colorful cast of characters, including Toby (played by McNamara), one of the show's producers who is desperate to keep the show afloat, and Demond (played by Michael Dudikoff), a flamboyant dancer who becomes a viral sensation after appearing on the show.

The movie's central theme revolves around the culture of exploitation and spectacle that permeates the world of talk shows. Through Jerry's character, the film uncovers the darker side of fame and fortune, as he struggles to balance his own personal life with the demands of his career. Meanwhile, the show's guests are portrayed as hapless victims of a system that feeds on sensationalism and controversy.

Despite the film's heavy subject matter, it manages to find humor in its absurd situations and outlandish characters. The movie parodies the conventions of talk shows, with exaggerated reenactments of the guests' stories and over-the-top confrontations between Jerry and his guests. At the same time, the film also critiques the media's tendency to simplify complex social issues, with some of the guests' stories touching upon themes of poverty, addiction, and abuse.

The performances in the film are solid, with Springer playing a fictionalized version of himself with a surprising depth of emotion. Pressly, in her breakthrough role, brings vulnerability to her character's strained relationship with her father. McNamara, who plays the film's voice of reason, also delivers a strong performance as the show's beleaguered producer.

Ringmaster was not a critical success upon its release, with many critics dismissing it as a crude and tasteless slice of exploitation cinema. However, the film has since gained a cult following, with fans praising its subversive wit and astute commentary on the media landscape. Today, Ringmaster remains a fascinating time capsule of the late 1990s, capturing the era's obsession with fame, sensationalism, and reality TV.

Ringmaster is a 1998 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 3.3.

Where to Watch Ringmaster
Ringmaster is available to watch free on Plex, Tubi TV and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Ringmaster for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    3.3  (5,361)