6.8/10
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21 user 1 critic

The Circus (1936)

Tsirk (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 25 May 1936 (Soviet Union)
US - Vaudeville dancer Marion Dixon is with her German manager von Kneischitz on tour - in Moskau. Her act includes a gun shooting her to the trapeze, the stage director there wants a copy ... See full summary »

Directors:

Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Isidor Simkov (co-director) (as I. Simkov)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Lyubov Orlova ... Marion Dixon
Evgeniya Melnikova ... Rayechka, the director's daughter (as E. Melnikova)
Vladimir Volodin ... Ludvig, circus director (as V. Volodin)
Sergey Stolyarov ... Ivan Petrovich Martinov (as S. Stolyarov)
Pavel Massalsky ... Kneishitz (as N. Massalskij)
Aleksandr Komissarov Aleksandr Komissarov ... Skamejkin (as A. Komissarov)
N. Otto N. Otto ... Chaplin
Jim Patterson Jim Patterson ... Jimmy, Marion's son (as Dzh. Patterson)
Fyodor Kurikhin ... Captain Borneo, animal tamer (as F. Kurikhin)
Sergei Antimonov Sergei Antimonov ... Shprekhshtalmejster (as S. Antimonov)
Solomon Mikhoels Solomon Mikhoels ... Cameo (as S. Mikhoels)
Pavel Geraga Pavel Geraga ... Cameo (as P. Geraga)
Lev Sverdlin ... Cameo (as L. Sverdlin)
Vladimir Kandelaki Vladimir Kandelaki ... Cameo (as V. Kandelaki)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Ross Robert Ross
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Storyline

US - Vaudeville dancer Marion Dixon is with her German manager von Kneischitz on tour - in Moskau. Her act includes a gun shooting her to the trapeze, the stage director there wants a copy of this act for the USSR. She falls in love with a Soviet enginer, but von Kneischitz blackmails her with her dark spot in her life, she has a colored baby, to leave Moskau. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

25 May 1936 (Soviet Union) See more »

Also Known As:

The Circus See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mosfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In the scene where people sing a lullaby in various languages to the black child, the bit sung in Yiddish by Solomon Mikhoels was cut out of the film for distribution in the USSR, for a time when a state-backed anti-Semitism campaign was unleashed. See more »

Alternate Versions

A colorized version was released on Blu-ray in Russia in 2012. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lenin v 2012 godu (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Chiroka strana moja rodnaja
Written by I. Dunaevsky and V. Lebedev-Koumach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The purpose of this film is clearly propaganda.
14 October 2007 | by amikalSee all my reviews

Circus which was written by Brigori Aleksandrov and was directed by Aleksandrov and I. Simkov was released in 1936. The movie which is a comedy/musical centers on a U.S.-Vaudeville dancer Marion Dixon on tour with her German manager Von Kneischitz in Mosocow. The woman's act entails her being shot from a canon and is a crowd favorite. When Marion begins to fall in love with the handsome Ivan Petrovich Martynov(Sergei Stolvarov) she falls in love with Moscow as well. When Marion decides she wants to remain in Moscow this does not make her German manager happy. Her manager insists that if she tries to stay in Moscow she will never be accepted after he tells everyone about her son who is half black. As the film progresses and comes to a close Marion confesses her love to Martynov and Kneischitz shows Marion's black child to the circus audience. While Kneischitz thinks he is going to ruin Marion, the opposite occurs. The Russian people accept the child. In the final scene they all march off in unity and happiness.

The purpose of this film is clearly propaganda. The author seems to try and convey multiple messages in this film for that purpose. One message the author tries to convey in this film is that the Russian people are good and the German people are bad. This message is used as propaganda in order to create and increase nationalism amongst the Russian people during a time of conflict between Russia and Germany. Another message which the author tries to convey is not apparent until the end of the movie. This message is the portrayal of the Russian way of living, during the time of the Soviet Union, as the best way of living. The author conveys this message of equality and bliss amongst the Russian people for the purpose of propaganda in the final scenes.

In my opinion the author and the Committee of Cinema Affairs want to portray Stalin and Lenin as Gods and Communism as a type of religion. This is reflected in what I believe to be the theme of the film; The Soviet way of living is the best way of living because all Russian people are equal and happy. This theme reflects the author's purpose of the film as propaganda.

I liked some aspects of the film and some aspects I did not necessarily like but in a way I understood. The parts of the film that I did like were: the love story of Marion and Martynov, the humor associated with the acts of the circus clowns, and the conveyed message of equality and bliss. However some parts of the film may rub certain individuals the wrong way. For example: the way the black child is hidden from the public until the very end of the film. Although I understood that part of this use of a black child was to portray the existence of slavery in the United States during this time period. Another aspect of the film that may be offensive to some is the way that Americans(through the image of Marion) are portrayed as dumb and Russians superior. I would suggest this film to a friend because the film captures a person's interest, is controversial, and is funny. However this film is not for everyone, and I would mostly recommend it for the purpose of study in film or history, not pleasure.


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