It's the early 1900's. The Wonder Circus is a traveling circus owned and operated by Anthony Wonder - who performs as a clown - and his daughter Kitty Wonder - who performs as an aerialist and trick rider. Although Kitty loves her Pop as she and all the other circus performers call her father, she hates his gambling addiction which is placing the circus deep in debt. They and their employees treat the circus like one big family, especially Lulu the fortune teller who wants to be Mrs. Wonder, but the employees may only be so loyal if they aren't getting paid. As such, many of the performers leave or threaten to leave to join the Wonder Circus' main competitor, the Noble Circus owned by the power and money hungry John Noble. Although Pop and Kitty don't want anyone to leave their employ, the only act that they will never let go is Jumbo, their trained elephant, who Noble had tried to buy in the past. As many performers leave, into their midst comes circus Jack-of-all-trades Sam Rawlins.... Written by
Historical records show that many of the character names and songs of Billy Rose's "Jumbo" in the 1935 stage production were entirely different. Jimmy Durante appeared in the original New York stage production, but not as the owner of the circus. He is listed as "Claudius B. Bowers", a character name not in the film. See more »
Lulu somehow manages to come out of the cannon backwards - the opposite way to how she entered. See more »
From the circus scenes to those wonderful musical numbers (My Romance, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, This Can't Be Love) this just shines. Day and Boyd may be a little old to play girl and boy falling in love but somehow it works. She is terrific as always, he's a damn good singer, and of course with Jimmy Durante, Martha Raye and an elephant how could it fail? One or two sections drag a bit but in the main this is exceptionally good stuff. Nice syrupy stuff if you're in the mood with some laughs along the way.
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