MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,742 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 398 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...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 100 titles
created 20 Mar 2011
 
a list of 34 titles
created 12 May 2011
 
a list of 426 titles
created 18 Jun 2011
 
a list of 14 titles
created 10 Sep 2011
 
a list of 3043 titles
created 4 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... 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Master swindler James Reavis painstakingly spends years forging documents and land grants that will make his wife and him undisputed owners of the entire state of Arizona.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Vincent Price, Ellen Drew, Vladimir Sokoloff
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
Sci-Fi | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Set on the Cornish coast in 1903, the film features a group of people discovering an underwater society of smugglers who never age living in a lost underwater city along with their gill-man... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Vincent Price, David Tomlinson, Tab Hunter
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Fighting over an inheritance, one Pyncheon brother frames the other for murder.

Director: Joe May
Stars: George Sanders, Margaret Lindsay, Vincent Price
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In order to get even with the pompous president of a soap company, an eccentric genius goes on his quiz show in order to bankrupt his company.

Director: Richard Whorf
Stars: Ronald Colman, Celeste Holm, Vincent Price
Convicts 4 (1962)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A semi-fictionalized version of John Resko's incarceration is presented. John is on death row at Sing Sing for murder. In December 1930, he killed a toy store shopkeeper over a teddy bear ... See full summary »

Director: Millard Kaufman
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Stuart Whitman, Ray Walston
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
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A serial killer has been killing beautiful women in New York, and the new owner of a media company offers a high ranking job to the 1st administrator who can get the earliest scoops on the case.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders
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
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When the multiple murderer Cain is released from prison after 18 years, he wants to settle down as a rancher and never touch a gun again. But his former life haunts him; not only that ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Sparr
Stars: Clint Walker, Vincent Price, Anne Francis
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The Las Vegas visit of singer Linda Rollins and her shady businessman husband leads to murder, and the cop on the case is Linda's old flame.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Jane Russell, Victor Mature, Vincent Price
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Director: John Gilling
Stars: Victor Mature, Anne Aubrey, Anthony Newley
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?

Trivia

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

Goofs

In the climactic trapeze act near the end, Zach and Jeannie are repeatedly shown standing on the opposite side of the stationary platform in long shots from where they're standing in close-ups. 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

Guilty Pleasure of the Fabulous '50's - Indulge!
24 January 2003 | by (Glendale, CA) – See all my reviews

C'mon, where else are you going to find a cast like this - at these prices, at least? It may not have the benefit of a DeMille budget, but this little gem succeeds where that director's "The Greatest Show On Earth" fails.

In place of DeMille's overblown hokum (which took itself too seriously to the point of campiness), THE BIG CIRCUS is earnest, lean and tightly paced, with no illusions that it's anything other than what it is: a collection of all the admittedly cliché elements that belong in a big-top thriller: sabotage by a rival, a lion on the loose, a killer in their midst, a fire, a train wreck and even a walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope!

Seasoned pros Victor Mature, Gilbert Roland, Red Buttons and Rhonda Fleming give it their all without going overboard, Vincent Price and Peter Lorre appear appropriately suspicious for those wondering if type-casting will reveal one of them as the villain, David Nelson is on hand doing some of his own trapeze work and even Steve Allen gets into the act!

Don't look for import, just sit back and enjoy the ride (and forgive the cheesy matte work on the Niagara sequence; at least they sprang for CinemaScope).


5 of 8 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:
?