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In the early years of the 20th century, Matt Masters takes his rambling Wild West Show to Europe. His decision is prompted by his desire to find Lili Alfredo, who disappeared fourteen years earlier following the death of her husband, The Flying Alfredo. At the time it was believed that Alfredo dived to his death deliberately when he realized his wife loved Matt and not him. Toni, a beautiful trapeze performer, raised by Matt is actually Lili's daughter, and she is in love with Steve McCabe, one of the stars on Matt's show. Doing their first show in Barcelona, aboard a ship, the ship keels over and Matt loses his show. Now broke, he leaves for Paris with Toni, Steve and his long-time friend, Cap Carson, to seek a job with Colonel Purdy's Wild West Show. But a year later, Matt has rebuilt his own show. First to be signed is a remarkable 12-year-old wire-walker named Giovana, and her guardian, Tojo the Clown, whose real named is Aldo Alfredo, formerly of the Flying Alfredos. Continuing ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
While the film is taking place in 1901, there are several mistakes with the European flags. One example is the Finnish flag that is seen in the movie. Finland didn't achieve independence (and the flag) until 1918. See more »
Slow moving and overlong film upon circus world with the great John Wayne
The movie talks about a circus employer (John Wayne who was suffering from the early stages of lung cancer), his fostered daughter (a gorgeous Claudia Cardinale) , her lover (John Smith) and a trapeze artiste (a veteran Rita Hayworth) who bears a dark secret that originates the drama.
In the picture there is a love story , circus show , melodrama but isn't fast movement and for that reason is little boring and dreary . Furthermore , runtime film is overlong : two hours and some and happens a few events . Frank Capra began this project but left due to unhappiness with the script , he wanted to use his own script but John Wayne insisted that James Edward Grant be brought to rewrite it . David Niven was originally cast as Cap Carson but left after one of the earlier script rewrites, complaining that it was becoming simply "a typical John Wayne film" and that his role had become smaller , then Lloyd Nolan replaced him.
¨The greatest show of the earth¨ by Cecil B. Mille with Charlton Heston is much better and obtained numerous Oscars , while ¨Circus world¨ was a real flop and failed in the box office and didn't achieve success at nowhere . In spite of the numerous and famous screenwriters : Ben Hetch's last film , James Edward Grant , Philip Jordan and Nicholas Ray , the plot is confusing and embarrassing . The picture finished to sink the Samuel Bronston's empire along with ¨The fall of the Roman Empire¨ because of both movies didn't make money . However, the circus spectacles are breathtaking : the racehorses, stagecoach pursuits with Indians riders, the clown shows , the trapeze artistes are spellbound.
The movie was regularly directed by Henry Hathaway , a craftsman with a long career . Big John Wayne played for Hathaway various films as ¨The sons of Katie Elder (65), ¨Circus World (64) ¨ certainly not one of his memorable movies , ¨How the west was won (62) ¨, ¨ North to Alaska (60)¨ , but his greatest hit smash was ¨True grit (69)¨ in which Wayne won his only Academy Award . Although Hathaway was a highly successful and reliable director film-making within the Hollywood studio system , his work has received little consideration from reviewers . The motion picture will appeal to John Wayne and circus fans . Rating : Average. Score : 4,30/10
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