The opening scene of the movie describes it best: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales."
Johnny Slate is the big boss who successfully keeps the circus running as it moves from town to town. He manages to deal with the unexpected frequently and uses Otto King, the accountant, as a sounding boarding
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although the film was shot in 35mm three-strip Technicolor, Paramount did shoot some test footage on the set using its newly developed wide-screen process Vistavision which ran 35mm film horizontally through the camera, exposing two standard frames, eight perforations wide. The footage still resides in the Paramount film library. See more »
Obvious split-screen background. It is known the production used detailed models for the trains in various scenes, and it is very obvious in the scene where the first section stops at the flare, as the engineer and other crewmen seemingly jump out of thin air to land on the ground next to the train. See more »
[just after giving gifts to circus spectators, Buttons secretly goes to his Mother and they whisper to each other]
They've been around again, asking questions.
I know Mother. They'll never find me, behind this nose.
Be very careful, dear.
Now, how about a nice smile, that I can remember until next year?
God be with you my boy.
It's all right Mother.
[...] See more »
Since this film was released in 1952, some scenes in the film will really be outdated (effects). But other than that, the film is a feast to the eyes and if you're sentimental, to the heart. With a seemingly thin plot, Cecil B. deMille made the film work with visuals and moments of suspense that is missing from a lot of big films nowadays. Mr. deMille is a master of epic films and this is one example. He made the circus one of the main characters in the film, that you will find yourself missing it at this day and age. A guilty pleasure? For me this is a magical pleasure.
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