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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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Details

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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

Inspirational miniseries
20 October 2004 | by (Gothenburg, Sweden) – See all my reviews

Although I cannot argue with the former comment about this miniseries a bit boring, I feel it's also misleading. Certainly, it needn't have been 4 hours long, but if you look past that, and watch it as the costume drama it is, you'd probably enjoy it. The sets are magnificent, and the acting isn't as bad as the former comment suggested.

But what is stunning is Barnum himself, and all the things that we take for granted, that he started or invented - like Madison Square Garden, the permanent circus, the terms "rain check", "grandstanding", and "press conference" (as well as the very notion of a press conference), but also modern advertising - including full page ads, creating a demand, and infotainment. That's the real strength of the miniseries - Barnum's optimistic view of the world and his ideas of marketing and showmanship.

So, if you're interested in how show business started to be a legitimate business, you should see it, even if you shouldn't place it at the top of you "to watch"-list.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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