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P.T. Barnum (1999)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama  -  12 September 1999 (USA)
6.6
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The story of the great American showman and promoter.

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Title: P.T. Barnum (TV Movie 1999)

P.T. Barnum (TV Movie 1999) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »
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The amazing biography of legendary circus impresario and unparalleled showman, P.T. Barnum.

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The story of American showman P.T. Barnum, founder of the circus that became the famous traveling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Charity
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Young Charity
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Francis Olmsted
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Greenwood
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Beach
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(General) Tom Thumb
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James Anthony Bailey
Art Kitching ...
Samuel Hurd
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Nancy (Fish)
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John Genin
Isabelle Cyr ...
Caroline (Barnum)
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David Thompson
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Helen (Barnum)
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Storyline

This series illustrates the life and career of P.T. Barnum, America's greatest showman and promoter. Starting as a young man who managed an old woman who was supposedly George Washington's nursemaid, we see his career as he finds success promoting curiosities and attractions with panache and a judicious mix of truth and creativity, whether it be promoting his museum or characters like the midget General Tom Thumb. Yet because the demands of his businesses, his family life is troubled and marred by tragedy. All the while, events lead to his greatest creation, the Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

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Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Release Date:

12 September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barnum Cirkusz  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Barnum never himself used the phrase "there's a sucker born every minute." See more »

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User Reviews

Where's the freaks?
11 October 1999 | by (Chicago, Illinois, USA) – See all my reviews

I'm afraid I only caught the second half of this miniseries, but what I saw was appalling! Doing a movie about Barnum is such a great opportunity to produce something colorful and exciting and hilarious. When will I learn not to waste time on TV miniseries? while I haven't had the opportunity to see the old 1930's film with Wallace Beery playing Barnum, it MUST have outdone this one. Quite honestly, why should I be so enthralled by the day-to-day minutiae of the private lives of Barnum and his relatives? It only makes a legendary, larger-than-life character that much more mundane.

Typically, we would see about 25 seconds of a routine circus act, followed by 25 minutes of tedious soap opera in period costume. Ah, we get an understanding of the personal demons that drove the man! Oh,Blah...blah...blah!!! In a biography of Barnum, I expect to see outrageous flim-flams and the dumbest of rubes, bearded ladies, flashy and dangerous aerial acts, elephants -- and lots of them, dammit! This was the greatest show on earth. And freaks! A gifted screenwriter could do a whole hour on how one finds a set of Siamese twins, how they're recruited and under what circumstances they've been living, how they're exhibited, what their personalities are like, what they and Barnum thought of each other, what the public reaction was, etc., etc. These aspects of his life and career seem to me a lot more interesting than the fact that he didn't get along with all his daughters or in-laws very well, or that his wife was ill.

Sorry I got carried away.


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