The Circus Clown (1934)

Passed  |   |  Comedy  |  30 June 1934 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 112 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

Trying to follow in his father's footsteps, the son of an ex-acrobat runs off and joins a circus, getting a job cleaning up after the animals.



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Complete credited cast:
Happy Howard
Patricia Ellis ...
Dorothy Burgess ...
Don Dillaway ...
Gordon Westcott ...
Charles C. Wilson ...
Sheldon (as Charles Wilson)
Harry Woods ...
Ronnie Cosby ...
John Sheehan ...
Spencer Charters ...
Tom Dugan ...
Mac (scenes deleted)
Earle Hodgins ...
Circus Barker
Gordon Evans ...
Undetermined Role


Trying to follow in his father's footsteps, the son of an ex-acrobat runs off and joins a circus, getting a job cleaning up after the animals.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 June 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sawdust  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to a review summary in the New York Times, Joe E. Brown was affectionately pawed by a lion during one take, requiring 6 stitches in his arm. The article also points out that Brown did his own "spectacular acrobatics" - no doubles were used. See more »


Spirit of Independence
(1912) (uncredited)
Music by Abe Holzmann
Played during the overhead shot of the circus after the trampoline scene
Also played the first time Ajax is performing his knife-throwing act
See more »

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User Reviews

Fun Under The Big Top With Mr. Brown
13 December 2003 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A pretty aerialist doesn't know that THE CIRCUS CLOWN who's taken her drunken brother's place on the trapeze is actually the goofy animal keeper who loves her.

Comic Joe E. Brown is in his element in the fantasy world of the circus. Not only does he get to play two roles--father & son--he also performs difficult & dangerous stunts on the trapeze, proves himself most proficient on the trampoline and works with lions, elephants and one very large hippo. In addition, Brown acts as the target for a highly jealous knife thrower. In short, he has a marvelous time, and, with the help of good production values and a little touch of sweet sentiment, he brings the viewers along for the fun.

In a story wrinkle which strangely forecasts Brown's involvement in SOME LIKE IT HOT decades later, Joe suffers a rather bizarre but heartfelt infatuation for a female impersonator, played by Donald Dilloway. Patricia Ellis provides the more acceptable romantics as the fetching high flyer.

Movie mavens will recognize an unbilled Ward Bond as an unwisely opinionated spectator at the end of the film.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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