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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 7,591 users  
Reviews: 95 user | 28 critic

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 5 more credits »
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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:

Mightiest of Motion Pictures! 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

Bing Crosby, Bob Hope:  2 Circus spectators during the musical song "Lovely Luawana Lady" (sung by Dorothy Lamour, Lamour portrayed Phyllis), after the first lyric and there s a musical interval, while Dorothy Lamour is resting for second lyric of the song. Hope, Crosby, and Lamour famously co-starred in the Road to Singapore (1940), Road to Morocco (1942), Road to Utopia (1945) and several other "Road" pictures.. 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

Buttons' Mother: [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.
Buttons: [whispering] I know Mother. They'll never find me, behind this nose.
Buttons' Mother: [whispering] Be very careful, dear.
Buttons: [whispering] Now, how about a nice smile, that I can remember until next year?
Buttons' Mother: [whispering] God be with you my boy.
Buttons: [whispering] It's all right Mother.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big Time Operators (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Only a Rose
(1925) (uncredited)
Music by Rudolf Friml
Lyrics Brian Hooker
Sung by Betty Hutton and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Great show and story
1 October 2002 | by (Sugar Land, Texas, USA) – See all my reviews

I know that some people are down on this movie, but I absolutely LOVE it. It has great ideals and good (not great) acting. It tells a story about the circus in a pseudo-documentary. The story has love, action, and humor. Three things that are missing from much of today's movie. I also love the color and the dramatic "feel" of the film for that era. It's a wonderful, wonderful, piece of 'Americana'.


22 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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