A circus owner tries to keep his financially troubled circus on the road, despite the efforts of a murderous saboteur who has decided that the show must not go on.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Henry Jasper 'Hank' Whirling
...
Randy Sherman
...
Helen Harrison
...
Jeannie Whirling
...
Hans Hagenfeld
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Zach Colino
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Skeeter
...
Tommy Gordon
...
Maria 'Mama' Colino
...
Mr. Lomax
Charles Watts ...
Jonathan T. Nelson
...
Steve Allen
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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:

Hear the New Song Hit! "THE BIG CIRCUS" See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of veteran character actor Dick Rich--he worked exclusively on television until his retirement in 1961. See more »

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 You Bet Your Life: Episode #9.34 (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

THE BIG CIRCUS
By Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster
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User Reviews

 
The Silliest Show on Earth
15 December 2015 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Irwin Allen produced this circus melodrama for second-string Allied Artists Productions, from a screenplay he co-authored with Charles Bennett and Irving Wallace--did all three of them fall in love with 1952's "The Greatest Show on Earth"? A financially-strapped traveling circus unknowingly harbors a killer amongst its troupe, revealed in a big climax under the tent with a full audience in attendance and at least one TV camera rolling! Allen did his best to round up colorful talents for this Big Top opus, and Victor Mature, Gilbert Roland and Vincent Price (as the master of ceremonies) each do good work. The weak supporting cast and even weaker attempts at humor are another matter. The song at the closing says 'it's a gay time at the circus,' which in this case is false advertising. ** from ****


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