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The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

Not Rated | | Drama, Family, Romance | May 1952 (USA)
The dramatic lives of trapeze artists, a clown, and an elephant trainer are told against a background of circus spectacle.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
FBI Agent Gregory
...
...
Mr. Henderson
...
Cucciola ...
Cucciola
Antoinette Concello ...
Antoinette Concello
John Ringling North ...
John Ringling North
Tuffy Genders ...
Tuffy Genders
...
Harry
...
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:

Academy Award winner "Best Picture"! 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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$36,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As of 2016, this is the fifth of six Best Picture winners to have won only one other Academy Award. The others are Wings (1927), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), You Can't Take It with You (1938), Rebecca (1940) and Spotlight (2015). See more »

Goofs

When the view from the cab of the second section train is shown approaching the rear of the first section, the first section is parked on a right hand curve in the tracks. However, when the second section is shown colliding with the first section from the viewpoint of the middle of the first section as well as in some previous shots, it is obvious that the first section is parked on a left hand curve. See more »

Quotes

Angel: [Sebastian almost drives his car into the elephant Angel is riding] Hey! Don't crowd, mister! Can't you see an elephant or do I have to paint her red?
Sebastian: I was blinded by the memory of a beautiful night in Paris.
Angel: [to the other circus performers] Blow up your water wings, girls, here comes the big wave!
[to Sebastian]
Angel: How come no husband ever shot you?
Sebastian: I never offer a sitting target.
Angel: I thought I'd seen the last of you when you got mixed up with that wire walker in Lisbon.
Sebastian: You will never see the last ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Edith Head: The Paramount Years (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

An der schönen blauen Donau Walzer (The Blue Danube Waltz), Op. 314
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played during the sword swallowing demonstration
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User Reviews

 
Highly entertaining and informative
24 March 2000 | by See all my reviews

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!


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