MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 84,303 this week

The Circus Clown (1934)

Passed  |   |  Comedy  |  30 June 1934 (USA)
6.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 111 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.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story), 4 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 12 May 2011
 
a list of 1344 titles
created 18 Sep 2011
 
a list of 771 titles
created 04 Mar 2012
 
a list of 2179 titles
created 12 Mar 2012
 
a list of 9984 titles
created 26 Jun 2012
 

Related Items

Search for "The Circus Clown" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Circus Clown (1934)

The Circus Clown (1934) on IMDb 6.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Circus Clown.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Director: Edward Sedgwick
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Helen Mack, Paul Kelly
The Gladiator (1938)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A man returns to college and is talked into joining he football team and is a real joke on the team, until he is given a drug that gives him super strength.

Director: Edward Sedgwick
Stars: Joe E. Brown, June Travis, Man Mountain Dean
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A show troupe, led by Dan Dixon and traveling in a trailer, is stranded in Paraguay. Dan is all set to be booked in the theatres controlled by Don Luis Garcia until the latter discovers Dan... See full summary »

Director: Frank McDonald
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Leo Carrillo, Beverly Roberts
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Criminal from all over the country converge on the Lakeside Inn in Willow Springs where bank robber Duke Temple (Stanley Fields) has stashed $100,000. Wilbur Keeks (Joe E. Brown),soda jerk ... See full summary »

Director: Kurt Neumann
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Jane Wyman, Alison Skipworth
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A college football player (Joe E. Brown) persuades a beautiful young woman (Joan Bennett) to individually flirt with an entire team of All-American football players, in order to entice them... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Joan Bennett, Joe E. Brown, James Hall
Top Speed (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An order clerk poses as a millionaire.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Bernice Claire, Jack Whiting
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

The story of a theatrical producer, his divorced wife and their four children.

Director: Edward Buzzell
Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Doris Kenyon, Charlotte Henry
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

"Whiskers," the timid book reviewer on a metropolitan daily newspaper is fired, along with the switchboard-operator, Lucy Walters, his girlfriend. They agree to meet for dinner to discuss a... See full summary »

Director: Edward Sedgwick
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Frances Robinson, Vivienne Osborne
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A show-biz couple inherit a college on the brink of bankruptcy. In a bid to increase funding they attempt to build up the college football team by offering $1,000 for every touchdown scored.

Director: James P. Hogan
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Martha Raye, Eric Blore
Riding on Air (1937)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Smugglers are using a device for controlling airplanes in flight, and newspaper reporters from Chicago are vying for the story. Reporter Elmer Lane is out to scoop rival reporter Betty Harrison, and capture her heart in the process.

Director: Edward Sedgwick
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Guy Kibbee, Florence Rice
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Some shady characters discover that a sad sack nightclub bus boy has the ability to predict outcomes of races and other events through astrology.

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Marian Marsh, Fred Keating
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Well respected local good guy, Feet Samuels finds himself heavily in debt due to an uncharacteristic gambling binge. Feet decides the only way to settle the bill is by selling his body to ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Alice White, Robert Barrat
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 June 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sawdust  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Soundtracks

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Some really mean circus folk in a somewhat disjointed tale
14 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Joe E. Brown plays a dual role as young acrobat Happy and his father Chuck. In the opening scene we see Chuck Howard telling his old boss at the circus that he wants no circus posters put on his establishment. Apparently Chuck has some ill feeling toward his old employer and furthermore doesn't want young Happy anywhere near a circus. Yet, for some strange reason Chuck takes Happy to the circus anyways. Happy is enthralled with the excitement of the place and hides away in a container when the circus ships out. When found, his dad's old boss lets him stay on with the show, although it is not exactly the glamorous life he was hoping for. Instead Happy is relegated to caring for the circus animals and running errands.

One misunderstanding leads to another, and in between misunderstandings the circus folk here are just plain mean to Happy which is difficult to understand since Happy is a very nice if naive guy. There are several somewhat precode situations that don't quite play out and I have a feeling the release date probably has something to do with that - it went into release virtually at the very time the production code went into effect, so probably some of the cut scenes would yield some welcome background information. One particularly puzzling part of the story has to do with Happy's dad. In the first scene Chuck's old boss seems to admire him, he actually hires his son, but in the scenes we see Happy and the circus boss together he is calling Happy useless and joining the rest of the troupe in making a mockery of him. Why would he treat the son of an old friend that way? The circus boss mentions that alcohol ended Happy's father's career, but no further explanation or details are ever given.

Because this film reels somewhat unpredictably between comedy and pathos, it really gives Joe E. Brown a chance to show his range and he meets the challenge well. Plus he gets to display his acrobatic abilities quite a bit here, even showing off the two and a half turn somersault in the air that he was famous for in his vaudeville days. The dual role works too as Happy and Chuck really do seem to be two different people - the eager young acrobat and his father who wants to save his son from the bad experiences he had, yet can't help being proud when he follows in his footsteps.

There are no other big names of the day in this film - Brown is really the only star - yet there are a couple of interesting cameos. First there is Lee Moran who is playing a bit part here as he did in quite a few of the early talking Warner Brothers films - he had a kind of Ned Sparks-like persona. Next, a very young Ward Bond can be spotted at the end of the film as an obnoxious and unimpressed member of the audience as the circus performs.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Circus Clown (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?