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
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 »
A typical Irwin Allen spectacle, this has its moments--the daring publicity stunt involving a tightrope walker crossing Niagara Falls is genuinely exciting--but for the most part is just too prosaic and small-minded to be the blockbuster it was undoubtedly intended to be. It would have helped if Victor Mature's shifty circus owner were either less of a jerk or an out-and-out villain, and certainly if Vincent Price (who seems to have been cast as the ringmaster simply because of his moustache) had been given more to do than to stand around in unbecoming leisure outfits. On the other hand, Peter Lorre (whose presence as a clown alienates both Lorre fans who view it as the ultimate insult to that ill-used actor's dignity, and clownophobes who see it as a confirmation of their worst fears) gives the film a heart and humor it wouldn't have had otherwise.
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