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

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Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   9,892 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 39% 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 are told against a background of circus spectacle. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(107 articles)
Oscar Nominee Casey Affleck Speaks Out Against Circuses
 (From PEOPLE.com. 23 February 2017, 9:00 AM, PST)

25 Days Until Oscar...
 (From FilmExperience. 1 February 2017, 5:00 AM, PST)

Ringling Bros. Circus Ends 146-Year Run
 (From The Wrap. 15 January 2017, 12:05 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Great show and story See more (113 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 ... Emmett Kelly
Cucciola ... Cucciola
Antoinette Concello ... Antoinette Concello
John Ringling North ... John Ringling North
Tuffy Genders ... Tuffy Genders

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 ... Lou Jacobs
The Alzanas ... The Alzanas
Trisco ... Trisco
The Flying Artonys ... The Flying Artonys
Lilo Juston ... Lilo Juston
The Chaludis ... The Chaludis
The Idnavis ... The Idnavis
The Realles ... The Realles
The Fredonias ... The Fredonias
Luciana & Friedel ... Luciana & Friedel
Buzzy Potts ... Buzzy Potts
Ernie Burch ... Ernie Burch
Felix Adler ... Felix Adler
Paul Jerome ... Paul Jerome
Miss Patricia ... Miss Patricia
Eddie Kohl ... Eddie Kohl
Tiebor's Sea Lions ... Tibor's Sea Lions
Mroczkowski's Liberty Horses ... Mroczkowski's Liberty Horses
The Zoppes ... The Zoppes
Bones Brown ... Bones Brown
Fay Alexander ... Fay Alexander
The Flying Concellos ... The Flying Concellos
Lola Dobritch ... Lola Dobritch
The Hemadas ... The Hemadas
Christy and Gorilla ... Christy & Gorilla (as Christy & Gorilla)
Tonito ... Tonito
The Bokaras ... The Bokaras
Prince Paul ... Prince Paul
Jimmy Armstrong ... Jimmy Armstrong
Paul Horompo ... Paul Horompo
Paul Jung ... Paul Jung
Charley Bell ... Charley Bell
Gilbert Reichert ... Gilbert Reichert
C.H. Lindsey ... C. H. Lindsey
Peterson's Dogs ... Peterson's Dogs
Rix's Bears ... Rix's Bears
Arthur Burson ... Arthur Burson
La Norma ... La Norma
Jeanne Sleeter ... Jeanne Sleeter
Billy Snyder ... Bill Snyder (as Bill Snyder)
The Flying Comets ... The Flying Comets
Veronica Martell ... Veronica Martell
Miss Loni ... Miss Loni
The Romigs ... The Romigs
Rusty Parent ... Rusty Parent
The Maxellos ... The Maxellos
Martha Hunter ... Martha Hunter
Truzzi ... Truzzi
Eugene Scott ... Eugene Scott
James Barnes ... James Barnes
Merle Evans ... Merle Evans
Frank McClosky ... Frank McClosky
Mike Petrillo ... Mike Petrillo
Peter Grace ... Peter Grace
Bob Reynolds ... Bob Reynolds
George Werner ... George Werner
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 ... Iphigenie Castiglioni (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)
Monie Ellis ... 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 ... Roland Tiebor (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 ... Alberto Zoppe - 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)
Bud Brill .... 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)
Mel Koontz .... animal trainer (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 (DVD Rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #15440) | West Germany:12 (nf)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Cecil B. DeMille considered Marlene Dietrich and Hedy Lamarr for the lead but ultimately settled on Betty Hutton when the actress sent him an enormous 1,000 dollar floral piece featuring a replica of herself swinging from a trapeze. DeMille accepted her on the condition she slim down her hips.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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:
Holly:[Very frustrated] I send Angel for a doctor and she comes back with an *elephant*!
Angel:[Filled with sarcasm] You better let Birdie bandage up the pixie if you want to say good bye to our boyfriend!
Holly:[Horrified] Brad!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Ultimate Film (2004) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Aloha OeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
27 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Great show and story, 1 October 2002
Author: Graceland316 from Sugar Land, Texas, USA

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'.

Was the above review useful to you?
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