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3 Ring Circus (1954)

 -  Comedy  -  22 January 1955 (Japan)
5.9
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Another movie with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. Jerry and Pete are two friends with no money, looking for some job. They finally find one as workers in a circus, but Jerry has different ... See full summary »

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Title: 3 Ring Circus (1954)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Wallace Ford ...
Sig Ruman ...
Colonel Fritz Schlitz
Gene Sheldon ...
Nick Cravat ...
Timmy
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Storyline

Another movie with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. Jerry and Pete are two friends with no money, looking for some job. They finally find one as workers in a circus, but Jerry has different dreams. He wants to become a clown... Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Tame a lion. Get shot out of a cannon. Wash an elephant. Jerrico will do anything to become a circus clown.

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Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

22 January 1955 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Big Top  »

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(Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)

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1.85 : 1
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Trivia

In August 1955 writers George Beck and Samuel Locke filed a $65,000 infringement lawsuit against Paramount and Hal B. Wallis, claiming that Wallis had hired them to write a circus story for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, entitled Big Top, which Wallis later rejected. The disposition of the suit is not known. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Hey, Punchinello
by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
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User Reviews

 
A profession born to
25 June 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

3 Ring Circus was not a film Dean Martin cared to remember. Apparently this was a film that Jerry Lewis wanted to make because he got to play a circus clown. Dean had very little to do here, he only got one solo song though it's a good one.

Nick Tosches fine biography of Dean Martin says that Jerry ran the film, including picking the director Joseph Pevney. It was the first time that real tension was rather public between the team.

Dino and Jerry play a pair of newly discharged veterans who pick up jobs in a circus. Jerry is placed as a lion tamer's assistant and he has a marvelous scene with Sig Ruman as a rather inpatient lion tamer. Trying to teach Jerry the trade would be enough to drive anyone crazy. But Jerry is actually correct in his reasoning that if he just hires on with the circus, sooner or later his talents as a clown will shine through. Though he drives owners Wallace Ford and Joanne Dru wacky with his antics, he becomes a marvelous clown. That's a profession you are born to, either your funny or you're not. My favorite scene with him is Jerry trying to hand the aerial cyclist his unicycle and then getting caught on the high wire with it.

On the other hand Dino is caught between Joanne Dru and the star attraction of the show, trapeze artist Zsa Zsa Gabor. Gabor is also jealous when Lewis gets to be the real star of the show. I think you can figure out how all this ends.

Dean and Jerry do a song written for the film Hey Punchinello by Paramount contract songwriters Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. But Dean's one and only solo was the interpolated classic, It's A Big Wide Wonderful World. For reasons I don't understand he made no record of this so the only place you'll hear him is in 3 Ring Circus. The song was introduced by Buddy Clark in the Forties and it fits Dean's style perfectly.

Other than that song, this film was strictly Jerry's show with Dean only in support. No wonder tension flared.


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