13.6 The Circus

by Alex DuVon | created - 10 Apr 2012 | updated - 18 Apr 2017 | Public
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1. The Circus (1928)

G | 72 min | Comedy, Romance

The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Merna Kennedy, Al Ernest Garcia, Harry Crocker

Votes: 21,197

2. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 36,071

3. Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)

Approved | 72 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

While visiting the circus with his family, Charlie is recruited by the big top's co-owner to investigate threatening letters that he's received.

Director: Harry Lachman | Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, George Brasno, Olive Brasno

Votes: 1,295

4. At the Circus (1939)

Not Rated | 87 min | Comedy, Musical

The Marx Brothers try to help the owner of a circus recover some stolen funds before he finds himself out of a job.

Director: Edward Buzzell | Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kenny Baker

Votes: 4,866

5. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

Not Rated | 152 min | Drama, Family, Romance

The dramatic lives of trapeze artists, a clown, and an elephant trainer are told against a background of circus spectacle.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: James Stewart, Charlton Heston, Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde

Votes: 10,801 | Gross: $36.00M

C.- Circus

6. Man on a Tightrope (1953)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, Thriller

Czech circus owner-Clown and his entire troupe employ a daring stratagem in order to escape en masse from behind the iron curtain.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Fredric March, Terry Moore, Gloria Grahame, Cameron Mitchell

Votes: 834

7. Carnival Story (1954)

Approved | 95 min | Drama

An American carnival in Germany sets the scene for sin, sex and melodrama.

Director: Kurt Neumann | Stars: Anne Baxter, Steve Cochran, Lyle Bettger, George Nader

Votes: 410

8. 3 Ring Circus (1954)

Approved | 103 min | Comedy

Jerry and Pete are two friends with no money, looking for some job. They finally find one as workers in a circus, but Jerry has different dreams. He wants to become a clown.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Joanne Dru, Zsa Zsa Gabor

Votes: 583

9. Carousel (1956)

Approved | 128 min | Drama, Fantasy, Musical

Fifteen years after his death, a carousel barker is granted permission to return to Earth for one day to make amends to his widow and their daughter.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell, Barbara Ruick

Votes: 5,030

10. Trapeze (1956)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, Romance

A crippled circus acrobat is torn emotionally between two ambitious young trapeze artists, one a talented young American and a less-gifted but beautiful Italian.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Gina Lollobrigida, Katy Jurado

Votes: 3,554

11. Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus (1960)

G | 96 min | Family, Drama

Taken in by distant members of his family after being orphaned, Toby Tyler runs away to join the circus.

Director: Charles Barton | Stars: Kevin Corcoran, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon, Bob Sweeney

Votes: 724

12. Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962)

G | 123 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A debt-ridden circus is saved by a well-meaning but inept publicity man.

Director: Charles Walters | Stars: Doris Day, Jimmy Durante, Stephen Boyd, Martha Raye

Votes: 1,096

13. Circus World (1964)

Approved | 135 min | Drama, Western

When circus proprietor Matt Masters decides to take his show on a European tour, it is beset by problems, while he searches for Lili, the mother of his adopted daughter, who disappeared years before.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: John Wayne, Rita Hayworth, Claudia Cardinale, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 1,942

14. Berserk (1967)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A scheming circus owner finds her authority challenged when the show is targeted by a vicious killer.

Director: Jim O'Connolly | Stars: Joan Crawford, Ty Hardin, Diana Dors, Michael Gough

Votes: 1,315

16. The Great Wallendas (1978 TV Movie)

98 min | Drama

Made-for-TV movie, tells the true story of the Great Wallendas, a family of circus acrobats famous for their seven-person high wire pyramid act, that one night ended in tragedy.

Director: Larry Elikann | Stars: Casey Biggs, Lloyd Bridges, Lucinda Bridges, Craig Clarke

Votes: 83

17. Bronco Billy (1980)

PG | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

66 Metascore

An idealistic, modern-day cowboy struggles to keep his Wild West show afloat in the face of hard luck and waning interest.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 9,208 | Gross: $24.27M

18. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)

PG | 95 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

In a small American town, a diabolical circus and its demonic proprietor prey on the townsfolk.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Jason Robards, Jonathan Pryce, Diane Ladd, Royal Dano

Votes: 7,135 | Gross: $8.40M

19. Big Top Pee-wee (1988)

PG | 86 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

Pee-wee Herman is now a small-town farmer with a fiancée, but when a traveling circus comes to town, he finds himself falling for the trapeze artist.

Director: Randal Kleiser | Stars: Paul Reubens, Penelope Ann Miller, Kris Kristofferson, Valeria Golino

Votes: 7,880 | Gross: $15.12M

20. P.T. Barnum (1999 TV Movie)

138 min | Biography, Drama

The story of the great American showman and promoter.

Director: Simon Wincer | Stars: Beau Bridges, Jordan Bridges, Cynthia Dale, Natalie Radford

Votes: 157

21. Big Fish (2003)

PG-13 | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

58 Metascore

A frustrated son tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father's life.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange

Votes: 376,909 | Gross: $66.26M

22. Carnivàle (2003–2005)

TV-MA | 55 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

During the Great Depression, an Oklahoma farm boy and a charismatic minister learn that they are key players in a proxy war being fought between Heaven and Hell.

Stars: Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown, Debra Christofferson

Votes: 38,319

23. The Prestige (2006)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

After a tragic accident two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion whilst sacrificing everything they have to outwit the other.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine

Votes: 988,395 | Gross: $53.09M

24. The Illusionist (2006)

PG-13 | 110 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

68 Metascore

In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.

Director: Neil Burger | Stars: Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell

Votes: 324,711 | Gross: $39.87M

25. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007)

G | 93 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

48 Metascore

Molly Mahoney is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world. But when Mr. Magorium, the 243-year-old eccentric who owns the store, bequeaths the store to her, a dark and ominous change begins to take over the once-remarkable Emporium.

Director: Zach Helm | Stars: Natalie Portman, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Bateman, Ted Ludzik

Votes: 38,451 | Gross: $32.06M

26. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

PG-13 | 123 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery

65 Metascore

A traveling theater company gives its audience much more than they were expecting.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Heath Ledger, Andrew Garfield

Votes: 134,146 | Gross: $7.69M

27. The Butterfly Circus (2009)

Not Rated | 20 min | Short, Drama

The Butterfly Circus is the story of a renowned circus troupe traveling through the devastated American landscape at the height of the Great Depression, lifting the spirits of audiences ... See full summary »

Director: Joshua Weigel | Stars: Eduardo Verástegui, Nick Vujicic, Doug Jones, Matt Allmen

Votes: 2,730

28. Water for Elephants (2011)

PG-13 | 120 min | Drama, Romance

52 Metascore

Set in the 1930s, a former veterinary student takes a job in a traveling circus and falls in love with the ringmaster's wife.

Director: Francis Lawrence | Stars: Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz, Paul Schneider

Votes: 102,333 | Gross: $58.71M

29. Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (2012)

PG | 91 min | Fantasy

51 Metascore

A young woman is entranced by an Aerialist. When they fall into the dreamlike world of Cirque du Soleil and are separated, they travel through the different tent worlds trying to find each other.

Director: Andrew Adamson | Stars: Erica Linz, Igor Zaripov, Lutz Halbhubner, John Clarke

Votes: 7,474 | Gross: $12.50M

30. Now You See Me (I) (2013)

PG-13 | 115 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

50 Metascore

An F.B.I. Agent, and an Interpol Detective, track a team of illusionists, who pull off bank heists during their performances, and reward their audiences with the money.

Director: Louis Leterrier | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Common, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 522,184 | Gross: $117.72M