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Marine Circus (1939)

Approved  |   |  Documentary, Short  |  11 March 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 26 users  
Reviews: 2 user

This Pete Smith Specialty offers a look at Marineland of Florida, featuring the various marine life on display there.


(as James A. Fitzpatrick)
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Title: Marine Circus (1939)

Marine Circus (1939) on IMDb 6/10

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Credited cast:
Pete Smith ...


In the newly opened Marineland on the Florida coast, one of the tanks has humans swimming and interacting directly with the resident tame dolphins. Unlike other aquariums where fish species are separated into different tanks, one large tank with underwater viewing portals has a mixture of species living in harmony much like they would in the wild. These species include moray eels, puffer fish, a manatee, a sea turtle and a 500 pound blind grouper. A boat out in open waters has just captured an eleven foot long shark to bring back to the aquarium. It will be the largest shark in captivity. In another tank, staff attends to the tank's cleaning while the marine life swims around. And in another, staff rings a bell which the marine life knows signifies feeding time. While the larger of the animals are fed directly, the smaller animals get whatever left over scraps missed by the larger fellows. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fish | dolphin | shark | turtle | aquarium | See All (21) »


Documentary | Short






Release Date:

11 March 1939 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


References Grand Hotel (1932) See more »


Wein, Weib und Gesang, Op. 333 (Wine, Women and Song)
Music by Johann Strauß
Played when the people are swimming with porpoises
See more »

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User Reviews

30 May 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I found this short annoying. The narrator makes lots of really bad banter, and he's not half as clever as he imagines himself.

For one thing, dolphins and porpoises are separate species, but he uses the words interchangeably.

Second, it wasn't clear to me what this was. Was it "Marineland"? Was it "Marine Studio"? Was it "Marine Circus"? Was it a movie set? Was it scientific research? Was it a vacation spot? These are competing goals that don't work well together.

For some reason, they included lots of footage of a man underwater, feeding the fish and dolphins/porpoises, but repeatedly kicking and hitting a turtle who is also attracted by the food.

There is footage of loading a shark onto a boat, underwater shots of a ray, a manatee, an eel, and a variety of fish.

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