6.3/10
151
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.

Director:

Ray Enright

Writers:

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

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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 June 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sawdust See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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 »

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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...


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