Rich playboy Drogo Gaines is in imminent danger of marrying a gold digger, and escapes by feigning insanity. The joke's on him when he wakes up in an asylum full of comical lunatics. There ... See full summary »
Beverly Ross moderates an 5:30 am radio show with swing music, dedicated to the local servicemen. Two buddies of her brother have a chance to meet her and both fall in love. One of them is ... See full summary »
When Polly Fisher, a circus aerialist, is hurt while performing, she is taken to the house of a nearby minister, John Hartley. As she recuperates, they fall in love with each other and ... See full summary »
C. Aubrey Smith
Laura is a nurse at the Front in World War I. She meets and falls for a young flyer named Geoffrey. On his first mission, Geoffrey is shot down and taken to the hospital where Laura works. ... See full summary »
Sam Gallagher (Pat O'Brien), a former foreign correspondent and now a United States Government agent, gets a job through his brother Jeff (Chester Morris), whom he has not seen in seven ... See full summary »
A few cast members in studio records/casting call lists for this movie were not seen in the final print. These were (with their character names, if any): Bobby Caldwell (Happy as a Boy), William Demarest (Ringmaster), and William B. Davidson. Tom Dugan was also not seen in the print, but he was credited in position 11 as "Mac." See more »
Music by William Paris Chambers
Played when Happy sits down next to Miss Latour
Also played when Sheldon offers Happy a contract See more »
Standard Boy meets Girl set against spectacular 'Sawdust' background.
NIT HAQVING BEEN even thought of during the period of Joe E. Brown's salad days in Hollywood, we really didn't know just what he meant to audiences of the Depression ridden 1930s or the World War II period in the 1940s. Pf course we knew who he was, mainly from Television guest starring shots on the many variety shows and on WHAT'S MY LINE? His old films were shown occasionally; but at late hours when good little Baby Boomer Generation kids were up in slumberland.
IN MORE RECENT years ('recent' extending back to those 1970s), we started to have the good fortune to screen his comedies from the 1930s, 1940s. Titles such as: EARTHWORN TRACTORS, ALIBI IKE and THE GLADIATOR were the order of the day. We found ourselves to be very fortunate to have access to some film revival venues such as the Clark Theatre, the Film Center of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwest Federal Savings Saturday evenings' screenings.
ADDED TO THE mix was a sudden explosion in interest books and various periodicals which were devoted to film history. We were all familiar with the plethora of "movie magazine" that were available down at the corner newsstand at the Damen Drug Store, but we also knew that these were really "tabloid type" gossip trash, with little historical material in them.
SO THAT BRINGS us right up to this recent viewing of THE CIRCUS CLOWN (First National/Vitaphone, 1934) via the good facilities of our cable TV provider and Turner Classic Movies. This was one Joe E. Brown outing that we had not even herd of, let alone having seen it. We find that Mr. Brown's screen persona had remained very much the same, even when his characters' names, locales and stations in life did. Be sure, he always managed to give his audience at least some snippets of his famous abilities in yelling.
AS FOR OUR story, we find Joe in a double role of Happy Howard and his father. His life is one o e farm, but he longs to join the circus and become the star that his father hadn't. He does get his chance and, being a rather naive, generously helpful albeit somewhat inept sort of fellow. He get's himself in the crossfire of some "bad girl" type and even a female impersonator(!!), before he finally finds his way to his true love. THE END
ONE OF THE most interesting attributes of this picture is the manner in which the production team manages to display Joe E. Brown's amazing abilities as an acrobat. Mr. Brown was truly a gifted athlete, who also spent a great part of his early life in circus and vaudeville troops performing tumbling, trapeze and trampoline routines & stunts. He also was a professional baseball player in the minor leagues; who turned down a contract with the NY Yankees (Babe Ruth. Lou Gehrig & Murderers Row).
THAT THIS MAN maintained such a high degree of physical fitness was a tribute to his dogged determination and devotion to exercise. And he did so in spite of a problem with alcoholism.
BUT. WE ONCE again digress. Just see it, at least once, honest Schultz!
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