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The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

 -  Drama | Family | Romance  -  May 1952 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 7,620 users  
Reviews: 95 user | 28 critic

The dramatic lives of trapeze artists, a clown, and an elephant trainer against a background of circus spectacle.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 5 more credits »
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Title: The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Himself
Cucciola ...
Himself
Antoinette Concello ...
Herself
John Ringling North ...
Himself
Tuffy Genders ...
Himself
John Kellogg ...
John Ridgely ...
Assistant Manager
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Storyline

To ensure a full profitable season, circus manager Brad Braden engages The Great Sebastian, though this moves his girlfriend Holly from her hard-won center trapeze spot. Holly and Sebastian begin a dangerous one-upmanship duel in the ring, while he pursues her on the ground. Subplots involve the secret past of Buttons the Clown and the efforts of racketeers to move in on the game concessions. Let the show begin! Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Heartbeat Story of Circus People, Filmed with the Cooperation of Ringling Bros. - Barnum and Bailey Circus! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

May 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$36,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor William Boyd, who had become enormously popular playing the character Hopalong Cassidy in a series of films and on television, contributed his cameo in this film - as himself - as a favor to director Cecil B. DeMille in repayment for DeMille's having cast him in the showcase role of Simon of Cyrene during DeMille's production of The King of Kings (1927) nearly a quarter of a century earlier. The Simon of Cyrene role in the earlier DeMille production had contributed enormously to Boyd's film career. See more »

Goofs

When the circus train is leaving to start the season, as it passes the priest performing the blessing, we see the car carrying Holly (clearly visible in the open door) pass twice - two nearly identical shots, one right after the other. See more »

Quotes

[Holly and Sebastian are one-upping each other on the trapeze]
Buttons: How long do you think this can go on before something happens?
Brad Braden: It's circus, isn't it?
Buttons: Do you believe in prayer?
Brad Braden: And practice.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paprika (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Schoene Galathea: Ouverture (The Beautiful Galathea Overture)
(1849) (uncredited)
Music by Franz von Suppé
Played during the royal parade
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Highly entertaining and informative

I've never been to the circus, so I think of this movie as my trip to the circus. Charlton Heston is great as Brad, the all business manager of the circus. But my favorite character is James Stewart as Buttons the Clown. It's a very different role for him, but it's great.

The Best Picture of 1952, "The Greatest Show on Earth" is wonderful, especially if you've never experienced it. I think this is one of Cecil B. De Mille's finest movies, and I recommend it to everyone. So I give it a 10 out of 10!


30 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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