22 user 2 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 »


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




Credited cast:
Lyubov Orlova ... Marion Dixon (as L.P. Orlova)
Yevgeniya Melnikova ... Rayechka, the director's daughter (as E. Melnikova)
Vladimir Volodin Vladimir Volodin ... Circus Director - Ludvig Osipovich (as V. Volodin)
Sergey Stolyarov ... Martinov - Ivan Petrovich (as S. Stolyarov)
Pavel Massalsky ... Kneishitz - Entrepreneur (as N. Massalskij)
Aleksandr Komissarov Aleksandr Komissarov ... Skameykin - Amateur Designer (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 ... Circus Presenter (as S. Antimonov)
Solomon Mikhoels Solomon Mikhoels ... Lullaby Singer (as S. Mikhoels)
Pavel Geraga Pavel Geraga ... Lullaby Singer (as P. Geraga)
Lev Sverdlin ... Lullaby Singer (as L. Sverdlin)
Vladimir Kandelaki Vladimir Kandelaki ... Lullaby Singer (as V. Kandelaki)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Ross Robert Ross ... Pilot - Lullaby Singer


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


Comedy | Musical


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In 1948 as Stalin became increasingly anti-Semitic, Solomon Mikhoels, too famous in 'The West' to be arrested and sent to the gulag, was murdered by the MGB secret police. Killed at an MGB dacha along with film critic/informer Potapov, their bodies then put to a roadside before being run over with a truck - simulating a hit and run accident. See more »

Alternate Versions

Restored version, Mosfilm, 1970 See more »


Referenced in Lenin in the Year of 2012 (2013) See more »


Pesnya o Rodine
Music by Isaak Dunaevskiy
Lyrics by Vasiliy Lebedev-Kumach
See more »

User Reviews

OK but only for some
17 October 2007 | by anweinandySee all my reviews

The movie Tsirk is about a Russian woman named Mary who was a socially out casted for having a black child. During her escape she is meets her soon to be German manager Von Kneishitz. After running away from her previous life with her new born baby, she joins the circus. In this new group she is at least making a living but she still feels like she must hide from her past. Her manager, Von Kneishitz, is always reminding Mary of her situation and frequently threatens to reveal Mary's illegitimate child. As Mary becomes more at home in her new environment she begins to have feelings for the ideal Russian man. As her feelings continue to grow for the great Russian man the threat to reveal her child becomes more real. While pursuing her new love Mary's plans are thwarted by the conniving and evil German. The film ends in glory after Von Kneishitz reveals Mary's son. All the people under the big top unite to welcome the newly discovered child into the warm embrace of the Russian state. All of this happens while they laugh at the silly German for being racist and turn him into the outcast.

This film is brimming with propaganda. This film shows just how great the Russian people are when they unite together to belittle the foolish and backward German. There is also a scene that features a giant poster of Stalin that helps the viewer to see that this work was used as propaganda. While on the one hand it supports Russian unity and demonstrated the evils of the German people it also was racist in its own rite. During one of the final scenes all of the different ethnic groups sing to the child in their own native language. The shot with the Jewish group singing to the child was cut out of the official soviet release.

This was an interesting film but I would only recommend it to those interested in seeing how the Russian government was interested in spreading the message of the state through film.

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Soviet Union


Russian | English | German

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


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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