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The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Family, Romance  |  May 1952 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 8,385 users  
Reviews: 99 user | 41 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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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlton Heston was driving through Paramount Studios when he spotted Cecil B. DeMille, who he had never met. Heston waved. DeMille was so impressed by Heston's wave he made inquiries that ultimately led to Heston being cast as Brad in this film. This was only Heston's third film and skyrocketed him to fame. One fan wrote a letter to DeMille on how much she enjoyed the movie and commented, "And I'm surprised how well the circus manager (Heston) worked with the real actors." Heston thought it was one of the best reviews he ever received. See more »

Goofs

When Klaus is seen waving to stop the second section as the engine speeds towards him, the right Cylinder on the Locomotive are discharging steam. When Klaus' car is hit by the locomotive, there is no steam in sight. As a side note, the left Cylinder cock is not discharging steam, in fact both would very quickly alternate on and off. See more »

Quotes

[first lnes]
Narrator: We bring you the circus, pied piper whose magic tunes greet children of all ages, from six to 60, into a tinsel and spun-candy world of reckless beauty and mounting laughter and whirling thrills; of rhythm, excitement and grace; of blaring and daring and dance; of high-stepping horses and high-flying stars. But behind all this, the circus is a massive machine whose very life depends on discipline and motion and speed. A mechanized army on wheels, that rolls over any obstacle in its ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Madrid (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Timberg and Winston Sharples
Played during the parade of cartoon characters
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'.


24 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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