The Clowns (TV Movie 1970) - Plot Summary Poster

(1970 TV Movie)

Plot Summary

  • Fellini exposes his great attraction for the clowns and the world of the circus first recalling a childhood experience when the circus arrives nearby his home. Then he joins his crew and travel from Italy to Paris chasing the last greatest European clowns still live in these countries. He also meets Anita Ekberg trying to buy a panther in a circus.

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • A ragout of real memories and mockumentary with Fellini exploring a childhood obsession: circus clowns. Fellini considered ringmaster as an alternate career - here he's a mesmerized MC sharing his still-intense feelings with his audience. In the first of three segments, as a child, Fellini awakens to the raising of a circus outside his home, and he must explore it. The clowns remind young Federico of strange and terrifying neighbors in his seaside hometown of Rimini, so "The Clowns" recreate a few of them in filmed vignettes. Fellini decides to make a documentary about what happened to the classic jesters of his youth, so he accompanies a farcical (and mock) film crew to Paris to investigate clown history, and track down surviving greats. He just happens to run into legendary clown Charlie Chaplin's daughter Alice, and at a circus one of Fellini's best-known stars, Anita Ekberg, there to buy a big cat. At a museum, Fellini is bereft to see the sparse, deteriorating footage of his comic idols. Fellini can't let his movie end this way or this soon, so he creates a grand, much bigger-than-life celebration of the pageantry and mysticism of one of his major influences.

    - Written by David Stevens
  • A ragout of real memories and mockumentary, as Fellini explores a childhood obsession: circus clowns.

    - Written by David Stevens


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