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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:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Emmett Kelly
Cucciola ...
Cucciola
Antoinette Concello ...
Antoinette Concello
John Ringling North ...
John Ringling North
Tuffy Genders ...
Tuffy Genders
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:

Love! Laughter! Thrills! Wonders! Suspense! Spectacle! Heart! 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

When Mary Pickford presented the film's producer-director Cecil B. DeMille with the Oscar for Best Picture (The 25th Annual Academy Awards (1953), Thursday, March 19, 1953), not only was it the first time the Academy Awards ceremonies had ever been televised, it was also Pickford's very first television appearance. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 ...
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Connections

Referenced in Happy Days: They Call It Potsie Love (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

William Tell Overture
(1829) (uncredited)
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Played during the dog and pony show
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I like this one
7 November 2006 | by (Charlotte, NC, USA) – See all my reviews

I have seen this film several times and each time I am more impressed. I don't look at a film to rate the acting, but rather I look at a film for its entertainment qualities. This film shows a behind-the-scenes look into circus life that most people would never have a chance to see. The circus acts shown are typical and entertaining, the characters have some qualities that are not always seen in a movie of this magnitude. I am always interested in special effects and how they are used in a film. The train wreck is obviously done with models but it is so well done, it rates mention. There are many considerations in making special effects seem real and all of those are carefully used in this film. Of course, the circus acts were NOT done with special effects and are very entertaining. If you have not seen this picture, please do so with an open mind and expect to be impressed.


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