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Joe E. Brown,
William Collier Jr.
According to a review summary in the New York Times, Joe E. Brown was affectionately pawed by a lion during one take, requiring 6 stitches in his arm. The article also points out that Brown did his own "spectacular acrobatics" - no doubles were used. See more »
Spirit of Independence
Music by Abe Holzmann
Played during the overhead shot of the circus after the trampoline scene
Also played the first time Ajax is performing his knife-throwing act See more »
one of Joe Brown's more serious roles - circus love story
Too bad they deleted the scenes with William Demarest... he always added zing to any films he did. And it's only a 63 minute shortie as it is. They must hardly ever show this one on Turner Classics - as of today, it only has two summary comments and 44 votes on quality. All-round average guy Joe Brown who could do any role and really DID start out as a circus performer, plays a circus performer AND his own dad in this one; at one point we even see them sitting next to each other. Brown had been in films for six years by now, and played several lead roles where the hero could do everything, with an "aw shucks" attitude. In our story, Happy (Brown) has a crush on Miss Latour, (who isn't who she seems to be), as well as half the girls in the circus...i had a hard time figuring out who was who. Like most of his films from the 30s, Brown carries the show. This role is a little more serious, without the constant gags in most of his films and shorts. Happy takes the blame for something early on, and pays the price later. Keep an eye on Don Dillaway, who was in films for almost 40 years, but played mostly uncredited roles... has a supporting role here. Not a whole lot of plot here, just a sad sack falling for someone who doesn't pay him much attention...Some funny jokes on famous names on the background signs... "Bingham Brothers Circus" (Ringling Brothers) and "Busby Bixley Productions" (Busby Berkeley). It ends rather abruptly with some un-answered questions, but it IS just a fun, cute, love-story shortie. Directed by Ray Enright, who had worked extensively for Mack Sennett; Sennett was one of the original producer/directors in the film industry. Written by Kalmar and Ruby, who had written several of the Marx Brothers films, so I expected a little more.... and if you re a Joe Brown fan, ya GOTTA see the ending of "Some Like it Hot", where Joe Brown has a fun but tiny little part...
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