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The Greatest Show on Earth
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The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) More at IMDbPro »

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The Greatest Show on Earth -- Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth is a lavish tribute to circuses, featuring three intertwining plotlines concerning romance and rivalry beneath the big top. DeMille's film includes spectacular action sequences, including a show-stopping train wreck. The Greatest Show on Earth won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Story.

Overview

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Up 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Fredric M. Frank (screenplay) &
Barré Lyndon (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Greatest Show on Earth on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
May 1952 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Heartbeat Story of Circus People, Filmed with the Cooperation of Ringling Bros. - Barnum and Bailey Circus! See more »
Plot:
The dramatic lives of trapeze artists, a clown, and an elephant trainer against a background of circus spectacle. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
It sure is. See more (99 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Betty Hutton ... Holly

Cornel Wilde ... The Great Sebastian

Charlton Heston ... Brad Braden

Dorothy Lamour ... Phyllis

Gloria Grahame ... Angel

Henry Wilcoxon ... FBI Agent Gregory

Lyle Bettger ... Klaus

Lawrence Tierney ... Mr. Henderson

Emmett Kelly ... Himself
Cucciola ... Himself
Antoinette Concello ... Herself
John Ringling North ... Himself
Tuffy Genders ... Himself
John Kellogg ... Harry
John Ridgely ... Assistant Manager

Frank Wilcox ... Circus Doctor
Robert Carson ... Ringmaster (as Bob Carson)
Lillian Albertson ... Buttons' Mother

Julia Faye ... Birdie

James Stewart ... 'Buttons' A Clown
Lou Jacobs ... Himself
The Alzanas ... Themselves
Trisco ... Himself
The Flying Artonys ... Themselves
Lilo Juston ... Herself
The Chaludis ... Themselves
The Idnavis ... Themselves
The Realles ... Themselves
The Fredonias ... Themselves
Luciana & Friedel ... Themselves
Buzzy Potts ... Himself
Ernie Burch ... Himself
Felix Adler ... Himself
Paul Jerome ... Himself
Miss Patricia ... Herself
Eddie Kohl ... Himself
Tiebor's Sea Lions ... Themselves
Mroczkowski's Liberty Horses ... Themselves
The Zoppes ... Themselves
Bones Brown ... Himself
Fay Alexander ... Himself
The Flying Concellos ... Themselves
Lola Dobritch ... Herself
The Hemadas ... Themselves
Christy and Gorilla ... Themselves (as Christy & Gorilla)
Tonito ... Himself
The Bokaras ... Themselves
Prince Paul ... Himself
Jimmy Armstrong ... Himself
Paul Horompo ... Himself
Paul Jung ... Himself
Charley Bell ... Himself
Gilbert Reichert ... Himself
C.H. Lindsey ... Himself
Peterson's Dogs ... Themselves
Rix's Bears ... Themselves
Arthur Burson ... Himself
La Norma ... Herself
Jeanne Sleeter ... Herself
Billy Snyder ... Himself (as Bill Snyder)
The Flying Comets ... Themselves
Veronica Martell ... Herself
Miss Loni ... Herself
The Romigs ... Themselves
Rusty Parent ... Herself
The Maxellos ... Themselves
Martha Hunter ... Herself
Truzzi ... Himself
Eugene Scott ... Himself
James Barnes ... Himself
Merle Evans ... Himself
Frank McClosky ... Himself
Mike Petrillo ... Himself
Peter Grace ... Himself
Bob Reynolds ... Himself
George Werner ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Lee Aaker ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)

Dorothy Adams ... Sam's Wife (uncredited)
Eric Alden ... Canvas Man (uncredited)
Erville Alderson ... Spectator (uncredited)
Stanley Andrews ... Spectator (uncredited)
Ross Bagdasarian ... Spectator (uncredited)
Vicki Bakken ... Vicki (uncredited)
Mary Bezemes ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Gladys Blake ... Spectator (uncredited)

Oliver Blake ... Spectator (uncredited)

William Boyd ... Hopalong Cassidy (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Spectator (uncredited)
Helen Brown ... Spectator (uncredited)
Jeanne Browning ... Girl (uncredited)
Arthur Q. Bryan ... Spectator (uncredited)
Donna Burke ... Girl (uncredited)
Bobby Burns ... Spectator (uncredited)
Paul E. Burns ... Spectator (uncredited)
Lonnie Burr ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Bruce Cameron ... Bruce (uncredited)
Charles D. Campbell ... Spectator (uncredited)
Frances Campbell ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Malcolm Cassell ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Iphigenie Castiglioni ... Herself (uncredited)
Lane Chandler ... Dave (uncredited)
Nathalie J. Christian ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Ken Christy ... Tightrope Act Spectator (uncredited)
Archie D. Clark ... Train Engineer (uncredited)
Davison Clark ... Farmer Sam (uncredited)
Ronnie Clark ... Boy (uncredited)
Lydia Clarke ... Circus Girl (uncredited)
Rocky Clinton ... Barker (uncredited)
Rus Conklin ... Rus (uncredited)
Gerald Courtemarche ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
John Crawford ... Jack - Circus Attendant (uncredited)
Dorothy Crider ... Dorothy (uncredited)

Bing Crosby ... Spectator (uncredited)
Bob Crosby ... Spectator (uncredited)

Cecil B. DeMille ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Bobby Diamond ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... Midway Game Barker (uncredited)
Gloria Drew ... Ann (uncredited)
Jimmie Dundee ... Utility Man / Stake Driver (uncredited)
Claude Dunkin ... Claude (uncredited)
Don Dunning ... Spectator (uncredited)
Art Dupuis ... Spectator (uncredited)
Rosemary Dvorak ... Rosemary (uncredited)
Daisy Earles ... Midget (uncredited)
Bonnie Kay Eddy ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
C.L. Elslander ... Father C.L. Elslander (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Spectator (uncredited)
Mary Field ... Spectator (uncredited)
Norman Field ... Truesdale (uncredited)
Elizabeth Fillman ... Girl (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Spectator (uncredited)

Kathleen Freeman ... Spectator (uncredited)
Mona Freeman ... Spectator (uncredited)
Gerry Ganzer ... Spectator (uncredited)
Nancy Gates ... Spectator (uncredited)
Slim Gaut ... Circus Man (uncredited)
Everett Glass ... Board Member (uncredited)
Joseph Granby ... Spectator (uncredited)
Greta Granstedt ... Spectator (uncredited)
Linda Green ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
Otto Griebling ... Circus Performer (uncredited)
Dolores Hall ... Circus Girl (uncredited)
Scott H. Hall ... Spectator (uncredited)
William Hall ... Bill (uncredited)
John Hamer ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Ambulance Driver (uncredited)

Peter Hansen ... Spectator (uncredited)
Charmienne Harker ... Charmienne (uncredited)
Joe Harper ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Kathleen Hartnagel ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
Helene Hatch ... Spectator (uncredited)
Bradford Hatton ... Osborne (uncredited)

Jimmy Hawkins ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Erin Hennessey ... Girl (uncredited)
Patsy Henry ... Girl (uncredited)
William Henry ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Bette Hill ... Girl (uncredited)
Paula Hill ... Spectator (uncredited)
Fay Holderness ... Spectator (uncredited)
Ronny Hooker ... Boy (uncredited)

Bob Hope ... Spectator (uncredited)
Jerry James ... Spectator (uncredited)
Adele Cook Johnson ... Mable (uncredited)
Brad Johnson ... Reporter (uncredited)

Van Johnson ... Spectator (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Lorna Jordon ... Lorna (uncredited)
Frances Karath ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee ... Pickpocket Victim (uncredited)
Mona Knox ... Mona (uncredited)
Fred Kohler Jr. ... Train Fireman (uncredited)
Ethan Laidlaw ... Hank (uncredited)
Larry Lapham ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Rudy Lee ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Herbert Lytton ... Foreman (uncredited)
George Magrill ... Circus Man (uncredited)
Anthony Marsh ... Tony (uncredited)
Sydney Mason ... Carson (uncredited)
Gay McEldowney ... Gay (uncredited)
Pattie McKenzie ... Girl (uncredited)
Peggy McKim ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
James McNally ... Spectator (uncredited)
William Meader ... Spectator (uncredited)
David M. Mee ... Little Boy (uncredited)
Frank Meredith ... Train Engineer (uncredited)
John Merton ... Chuck (uncredited)
Gertrude Messinger ... Gertrude (uncredited)
Patricia Michon ... Patricia (uncredited)
Royce Milne ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Spectator (uncredited)
Beverly Mook ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
Lyle Moraine ... Spectator (uncredited)
Clarence Nash ... Spectator (uncredited)
Howard Negley ... Truck Boss (uncredited)

Noel Neill ... Noel (uncredited)
Ottola Nesmith ... Spectator (uncredited)
Joel Nestler ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
David Newell ... Spectator (uncredited)
Eric Nielsen ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Noralee Norman ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
Judy Nugent ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)

Edmond O'Brien ... Midway Barker at End (uncredited)
Susan Odin ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
Sammy Ogg ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Ruth Packard ... Spectator (uncredited)
John Parrish ... Jack Lawson (uncredited)
Luce Potter ... Midget (uncredited)
Hugh Prosser ... Hugh (uncredited)
Harry Raven ... Circus Man (uncredited)
Keith Richards ... Keith - Circus Attendant (uncredited)
Bruce Riley Jr. ... Boy (uncredited)
William J. Riley ... Policeman (uncredited)
Peter Roman ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Angelo Rossitto ... Midget (uncredited)
Gladys Rosson ... Spectator (uncredited)
Robert E. Royal ... Policeman (uncredited)
William Ruhl ... Circus Barker (uncredited)
Robert W. Rushing ... Policeman (uncredited)
Russell Saunders ... Circus Man (uncredited)
Syd Saylor ... Circus Barker (uncredited)
Ritz Schroder ... Harlequin (uncredited)
Queenie Smith ... Spectator (uncredited)
Squeaky ... Squeaky (uncredited)
Robert St. Angelo ... Spectator (uncredited)
Mabel Stark ... Spectator (uncredited)
Robert R. Stephenson ... Spectator (uncredited)

Tony Taylor ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Roland Tiebor ... Himself - Sea Lion Trainer (uncredited)
Nina Torres ... Girl (uncredited)
Stuart Torres ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Man in Train Wreck (uncredited)
Dorothy Vernon ... Spectator (uncredited)
Judith Ann Vroom ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
Wally Walker ... Spectator (uncredited)
Gil Warren ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Beverly Washburn ... Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
Joan Whitney ... Spectator (uncredited)
Josephine Whittell ... Spectator (uncredited)
Kay Wiley ... Spectator (uncredited)
Dickie June Williams ... Girl (uncredited)
Robert N. Wilson ... Motorcycle Cop (uncredited)
Robin Winans ... Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Christine Wright ... Spectator (uncredited)
Fred Zendar ... Spectator (uncredited)
Alberto Zoppe ... Himself - Trick Rider (uncredited)

Directed by
Cecil B. DeMille 
 
Writing credits
Fredric M. Frank (screenplay) &
Barré Lyndon (screenplay) &
Theodore St. John (screenplay) (as Theodore St.John)

Fredric M. Frank (story) &
Theodore St. John (story) (as Theodore St.John) &
Frank Cavett (story)

Jack Gariss  additional writer (uncredited)

Produced by
Cecil B. DeMille .... producer
Henry Wilcoxon .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Victor Young (music score by)
 
Cinematography by
George Barnes (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Anne Bauchens 
 
Art Direction by
Hal Pereira 
Walter H. Tyler  (as Walter Tyler)
 
Set Decoration by
Sam Comer 
Ray Moyer 
 
Costume Design by
Edith Head (costumes)
Dorothy Jeakins (costumes)
Miles White (circus costumes)
 
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
 
Production Management
Roy Burns .... unit manager (uncredited)
C. Kenneth Deland .... unit manager (uncredited)
Andrew J. Durkus .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur Rosson .... unit director
Edward Salven .... assistant director
Frank Baur .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Daniel McCauley .... assistant director (uncredited)
Walter H. Tyler .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Norman Bel Geddes .... designer: big top (uncredited)
Gene Lauritzen .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Jack Senter .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Dwight Thompson .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
John Cope .... sound recordist
Harry Lindgren .... sound recordist
 
Special Effects by
Harold V. McKenzie .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
Barney Wolff .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Devereaux Jennings .... special photographic effects (as Devereux Jennings)
Gordon Jennings .... special photographic effects
Paul K. Lerpae .... special photographic effects (as Paul Lerpae)
 
Stunts
Polly Burson .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton .... stunts (uncredited)
Russell Saunders .... stunts (uncredited)
Galla Shawn .... stunt double: Betty Hutton (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
W. Wallace Kelley .... additional photography (as Wallace Kelley)
J. Peverell Marley .... additional photography
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
John Murray Anderson .... stager: circus musical and dance numbers
Sidney Cutner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Richard Barstow .... choreographer
Robert Brower .... Technicolor color consultant
Arthur M. Concello .... general manager: Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Circus
John Ringling North .... president: Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Circus
John Ringling North .... technical advisor
Henry Ringling North .... vice president: Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Circus
Pat Valdo .... general director of performance: Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Circus
James Vincent .... dialogue supervisor
Lynn Couch .... aerialist coach: Cornel Wilde (uncredited)
Barlow Simpson .... animal handler: elephant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
152 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Brazil:Livre | Canada:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:12 | Netherlands:14 | Sweden:15 | UK:U (original rating) (cut) | UK:U (video rating) (1988) (uncut) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (certificate #15440) | West Germany:12 (nf)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Lucille Ball was Cecil B. DeMille's first choice for "Angel", but she became pregnant and was replaced by Gloria Grahame. Paulette Goddard also campaigned strongly for the role but was turned down owing to her reluctance to perform stunt scenes.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Mickey Mouse and other Walt Disney characters walk around the ring, the band plays the song "It's A Hap-Hap-Happy Day" from Gulliver's Travels (1939), which was released by Paramount, not Disney.See more »
Quotes:
Klaus:Your legs are too thin, your hair is too red, you have lips like a cat. You're no good. You give me too much trouble.
Angel:Flattery rolls right off me.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
(I Got Spurs That) Jingle Jangle JingleSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
It sure is., 5 May 2004

This is my favorite Cecil B. DeMille picture and it rightfully deserves it's title. The cast is well cast. Heston makes a fine circus manager and a perfect "don't take nothing from nobody" type of guy when it comes to dealing with local gamblers. Cornell Wilde is perfect as the typical heart-throb of a trapezist. Betty Hutton is good as the daring young star fighting for the center ring. Last, but certainly not the least, James Stewart is wonderful as the lonely clown with a terrifying secret (I will not give it away!!! See the movie!!!). Cecil was a man of tremendous persona with a hunger for showcasing spectacle by means of careful, intense, and thorough research. He achieves amazing success in portraying (to the best of his ability of the times) the most realistic circus acts without the use of raw footage, and covering the stories behind the characters involved. The thing that really moves everything along though, is the musical score. Two words on that GOOD GOD!!! The music will make you want to go to the circus, even if you didn't like this picture. For those of you who didn't like this picture, why not go to the circus instead? You may be entertained to the point that you'll end up silencing your bad reviews. I'm not saying you have top like this picture, but if you haven't seen it yet, and it's because of the certain bad reviews it got from some people, you're really going to miss something.

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