7 user 3 critic

The Circus Clown (1934)

Passed | | Comedy | 30 June 1934 (USA)
Trying to follow in his father's footsteps, the son of an ex-acrobat runs off and joins a circus, getting a job cleaning up after the animals.


Ray Enright


Bert Kalmar (story), Harry Ruby (story) | 2 more credits »


Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Alexander Botts is a self-described natural born salesman and master mechanic, who is trying to make a big sale of Earthworm tractors to grouchy lumberman Johnson. Since Botts doesn't ... See full summary »

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Joe E. Brown, June Travis, Guy Kibbee
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

To get his girl back, that has fallen for a biker, a worker and one of his friends enter a six day race.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Maxine Doyle, Frank McHugh
Broadminded (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Jack's father is sending Jack away to keep him from the gambling, booze, girls and late nights. He has Ossie go as Jack's companion, not knowing that Ossie does the same things as Jack. ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Ona Munson, William Collier Jr.
Alibi Ike (1935)
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Idiosyncratic new recruit Francis "Ike" Farrell tries to help the Cubs to the pennant with his pitching and hitting.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Joe E. Brown, Olivia de Havilland, Ruth Donnelly


Complete credited cast:
Joe E. Brown ... Happy Howard
Patricia Ellis ... Alice
Dorothy Burgess ... Babe
Don Dillaway ... Jack
Gordon Westcott ... Frank
Charles C. Wilson ... Sheldon (as Charles Wilson)
Harry Woods ... Ajax
Ronnie Cosby ... Dickie
John Sheehan ... Moxley
Spencer Charters ... Kingsley
Tom Dugan ... Mac (scenes deleted)
Earle Hodgins ... Circus Barker
Gordon Evans Gordon Evans ... Undetermined Role


Trying to follow in his father's footsteps, the son of an ex-acrobat runs off and joins a circus, getting a job cleaning up after the animals.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 June 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sawdust See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


Referenced in American Experience: The Battle Over Citizen Kane (1996) See more »


Spirit of Independence
(1912) (uncredited)
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

one of Joe Brown's more serious roles - circus love story
3 August 2009 | by ksf-2See all my reviews

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...

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed