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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 »
Jumbo is alternately using his front feet/back feet between shots when he is dancing on the circus pedestal. See more »
This is a wonderfully entertaining film. Day and Durante never disappoint and turn in their usual fine performances. Martha Raye is a delight! Stephen Boyd is magnificent! Who knew he could sing and dance so well?! He was a wonderfully versatile actor who could switch from Messala to Sam Rawlins in a heartbeat. One of my favorites - completely wonderful!
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