MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 4,797 this week

The Big Circus (1959)

 -  Drama  -  5 July 1959 (USA)
6.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 388 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 4 critic

Hank Whirling tries to keep his financially troubled circus on the road despite the efforts of a saboteur who has determined that the show must not go on.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: August

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they recommend for August 2014.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 12 May 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 18 Jun 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 14 Sep 2012
 
a list of 4122 titles
created 12 Oct 2012
 
a list of 374 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Big Circus" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Big Circus (1959)

The Big Circus (1959) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Big Circus.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Waldo Trumbull, an undertaker who hasn't had any 'customers' in a long time is forced the pay one year's back-rent. To get money he starts to kill people in order to get new clients.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff
Horror | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

3 horror stories based on the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the 1st story titled "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", Heidegger attempts to restore the youth of three elderly friends. In "... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Salkow
Stars: Vincent Price, Joyce Taylor, Sebastian Cabot
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Professor Fergusson plans to make aviation history by making his way across Africa by balloon. He plans to claim uncharted territories in West Africa as proof of his inventions worth.

Director: Irwin Allen
Stars: Red Buttons, Fabian, Barbara Eden
The Tingler (1959)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Dr. Warren Chapin is a pathologist who regularly conducts autopsies on executed prisoners at the State prison. He has a theory that fear is the result of a creature that inhabits all of us.... See full summary »

Director: William Castle
Stars: Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman
Drama | History | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The twisted Richard III is haunted by the ghosts of those he has murdered in his attempt to become the King of England.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Michael Pate, Joan Freeman
The Jackals (1967)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Bad bank robber falls in love with granddaughter of miner he and his men planned to of of gold, has change of heart.

Director: Robert D. Webb
Stars: Vincent Price, Diana Ivarson, Robert Gunner
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

15 years after the events of "The Fly," Andre's son does some transportation experimentation of his own.

Director: Edward Bernds
Stars: Vincent Price, Brett Halsey, David Frankham
Sci-Fi | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The world in the late 19th century: A scientist and his team are held as "guests" of Robur on his airship, that he want to use to ensure peace on earth. Peace with all, even if he has to ... See full summary »

Director: William Witney
Stars: Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Henry Hull
Shock (1946)
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A psychologically distraught woman is committed to a private sanitarium by the man whom she witnessed commit a murder.

Director: Alfred L. Werker
Stars: Vincent Price, Lynn Bari, Frank Latimore
Der Verlorene (1951)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

German scientist murders his fiancée during World War II when he learns that she has been selling the results of his secret research to the enemy.

Director: Peter Lorre
Stars: Peter Lorre, Karl John, Helmuth Rudolph
Green Hell (1940)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A group of adventurers head deep into a South American jungle in search of ancient Incan treasure. A beautiful woman, brought to their camp by hired bearers, has come to join her husband, a... See full summary »

Director: James Whale
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Bennett, John Howard
Serenade (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Damon Vincenti, a young vineyard worker, has a beautiful tenor voice and dreams of becoming a great opera singer. He debuts at Lardelli's Italian restaurant in San Francisco, where he is ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Mario Lanza, Joan Fontaine, Sara Montiel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
Henry Jasper 'Hank' Whirling
...
Randy Sherman
...
Helen Harrison
...
Jeannie Whirling
...
Hans Hagenfeld
...
Zach Colino - the aerialist
...
Skeeter
...
Tommy Gordon
Adele Mara ...
Maria 'Mama' Colino
...
Mr. Lomax
Charles Watts ...
Jonathan T. Nelson - Banker
...
Himself - Cameo appearance
Edit

Storyline

After splitting with his longtime business partner, Hank Whirling is about to take his big top circus on tour. He manages to get a loan and some investment money but has to take on one of their employees, Randy Sherman, to keep an eye on the finances. Sherman immediately hires a new press agent, Helen Harrison, over Hank's objections. After a series of accidents, they soon realize that they have a saboteur in the company. With financial problems increasing, Whirling looks to take the the show to New York City before his former partner Jules Borman can get his circus there. He realizes that he'll need a lot of publicity and trapeze and high wire artist Zach Colino agrees to walk the wire across Niagara Falls. After the circus train is sabotaged - killing Zach's wife and several others - they race to Niagara Falls to complete the high wire act but Zach may not be up it. The saboteur working for Borman bides his time and is planning another death. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No one seated during the last 10 minutes so you will completely enjoy the surprise ending! P.S. And please do not reveal the identity of the villain! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 July 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran circo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

The human cannonball is shown climbing up the cannon, kneeling at the top, then swinging around and sliding into its mouth. In the next shot, showing the net in the foreground and the cannon behind, he's seen at the top of the cannon, swinging around and sliding into its mouth a second time. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Introducing... Janet (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

THE BIG CIRCUS
By Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Copying DeMille
27 February 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Unfortunately for The Big Circus, The Greatest Show On Earth by Cecil B. DeMille set the standard for circus films that will be pretty hard to match. One hasn't come out in many years now, probably the market isn't there. Pity too, in this age of computer graphics, the potential to out DeMille DeMille is there.

This film can still stand on its own however as good entertainment. As in The Grestest Show On Earth, someone is out trying to sabotage the circus. The villain here isn't doing it for some nefarious scheme to enrich, it's a very psychologically disturbed individual who is not unmasked until the very end.

The leads here are Victor Mature in the role of circus boss and he's got financial troubles. Working to help straighten out the circus's finances are Rhonda Fleming and Red Buttons. Both aren't quite used to the culture of the circus, but Vic works the old heavy lidded charm and he's got a sister in Kathryn Crosby who brings the circus out in banker Buttons.

In The Greatest Show on Earth James Stewart took a supporting role as a clown because he always wanted to play one. Peter Lorre departs from his usual villainy to play a similar kind of clown, kind of a father confessor to the show.

But my favorite in the film is Gilbert Roland. He plays the patriarch of a high wire act and the high point of the film is his walk across Niagara Falls as a publicity stunt for the financially strapped show. Roland is under a lot of pressure, his wife, Adele Mara, having been the only fatality in a planned train wreck.

In fact The Big Circus took so much from The Greatest Show on Earth like the train wreck and other things that producer/director Irwin Allen was rightly criticized for a lack of originality. It seems he was just trying he could do the same things on the screen better than DeMille.

Nevertheless The Big Circus is a fine film on its own, entertaining and colorful for children of all ages.


14 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD now sold on Warner's webpage simonhowson
Looking to buy ewinche
WALKING ACROSS NIAGARA FALLS Tjcat
The Big Circus on DVD harrypomm
Dancer 'Rowena'? bzb-1
Discuss The Big Circus (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?