A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.
Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.
A young girl is orphaned when her mother, a circus aerialist, is killed in a fall. A rival circus informs the sheriff that the girl is an orphan, and she is subsequently placed in an ... See full summary »
Hard-hitting news editor Jim Branch falls for high-society type Sharon Norwood but can't get to first base as he continually makes use of her knowledge of the rich and famous to try to ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
Mike Morgan creates the illusions that magicians use in their shows. While his business is Miracles for Sale, his hobby is exposing fake spiritualists. At the club, he is invited to attend ... See full summary »
Nick Cherney, in prison for embezzling from Torno Freight Co., sees a chance to get back at Johnny Torno through his young priest brother Jess. He pays fellow prisoner Rocky, who gets out a... See full summary »
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
After losing his business partner, "Whirling Circus" manager Victor Mature (as Henry "Hank" Whirling) must borrow a half million dollars so that the show can go on - a US tour. He gets the money, but must accept two new staff members to insure a profitable return on the loan. Joining the troupe are full-figured publicist Rhonda Fleming (as Helen Harrison) and penny-pinching banker Red Buttons (as Randy Sherman). Having a female press agent irks Mr. Mature, but you wouldn't want to bet against a kiss before the closing credits. This being a circus movie, you might suppose a lion could be let loose, at some point. Also, figure on one or more mysterious accidents, which might actually be murder...
This closely follows the circus picture pattern, especially Cecil B. DeMille's hit "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952). "The Big Circus" has a smaller budget, but producer Irwin Allen makes less look bigger than expected. It's colorful and bland, but must have been a cool way to spend time in the summer of 1959. The cast member shining is former "silent" screen star Gilbert Roland (as Zach Colino), looking incredibly fit as the circus' main attraction. "Ozzie and Harriet" son David Nelson (as Tommy Gordon) is also fit, as a younger model. Bing Crosby's second wife Kathryn Grant (as Jeannie Whirling) is likewise sexy in tights. Looking sneaky and clownish are veterans Vincent Price and Peter Lorre.
***** The Big Circus (1959-07-05) Joseph M. Newman ~ Victor Mature, Gilbert Roland, Red Buttons, Rhonda Fleming
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