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Mike Ribble was once a great trapeze artist - and the only the sixth to have completed a triple somersault - before his accident. Tino joins the circus, and manages to convince Mike to teach him the 'triple'. Meanwhile Lola, a tumbler, wants to get in on the act. Written by
Colin Tinto <email@example.com>
Almost a great circus movie, (if such a thing could exist), "Trapeze" comes closer than most to capturing the tawdry excitement of the milieu. While most circus pictures are aimed at kids this is aimed, if not quite at adults, then at least at older kids. It's sexy and it makes the whole business of being a trapeze artist seem like the sexiest, most exciting thing in the world.
It's about the rivalry that can develop, both professionally and romantically, between artists and the director, Carol Reed, gives the film a charge that his more famous and infinitely more civilized films don't have. As the trio of artists who are almost consumed by their passions Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Gina Lolobrigida have an instinctive rapport. Lancaster and Curtis' performances here seem like a dry run for their work a year later in "Sweet Smell of Success" and Lolobrigida never looked or acted better. Although Lancaster wasn't young when he made this, he's like the biggest kid in the playground and seems to be having a hell of a time while Lolobrigida is a dynamic tease.
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