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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 »
At the beginning there is a stage curtain painted to show the elephant Jumbo. It portrays him as an African Elephant with large ears. The real elephant in the film was an Asian elephant with smaller ears. See more »
In the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the traveling The Wonder Circus has the greatest attraction the elephant Jumbo and is full of debts. The owner, Anthony 'Pop' Wonder (Jimmy Durante), works as a clown but is a gambler addicted in dice games and usually loses the box office gambling. He has been deceiving the clairvoyant Lulu (Martha Raye) for many years promising to marry her. His daughter, Kitty Wonder (Doris Day), is the trick rider and tries to negotiate with creditors and the circus performers to keep the business going on. John Noble (Dean Jagger), who owns a famous Noble Circus, wants to buy Jumbo and The Wonder Circus, but Pop refuses his offers.
When the mysterious Sam Rawlins (Stephen Boyd) asks for a job in the Wonder Circus, Kitty refuses and tells that they do not want adventurer working in their circus. But he proves to be an excellent aerialist and handy man and Pop hires him since they lost many performers due to the lack of payment. Soon Kitty falls in love with Sam, but he has a secret agenda and she does not know.
"Billy Rose's Jumbo" is a forgettable and cute musical based on a 1935 Broadway show. The silly plot is a predictable romance entwined with many songs and performances by circus performers and entertains. The work of the stunts and the edition is wonderful. Unfortunately the songs in the DVD released by Warner in Brazil do not have subtitles in a absolute lack of respect from Warner to the Brazilian costumers. Shame on you Warner! My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "A Mais Querida do Mundo" ("The Dearest in the World")
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