6.7/10
11,287
123 user 48 critic

The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

Passed | | Drama, Family, Romance | May 1952 (USA)
The dramatic lives of trapeze artists, a clown, and an elephant trainer are told against a background of circus spectacle.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writers:

Fredric M. Frank (screenplay), Barré Lyndon (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Victorian Englishman bets that with the new steamships and railways he can circumnavigate the globe in eighty days.

Directors: Michael Anderson, John Farrow
Stars: David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee
Oliver! (1968)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After being sold to a mortician, young orphan Oliver Twist runs away and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis
My Fair Lady (1964)
Drama | Family | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Betty Hutton ... Holly
Cornel Wilde ... The Great Sebastian
Charlton Heston ... Brad Braden
Dorothy Lamour ... Phyllis
Gloria Grahame ... Angel
Henry Wilcoxon ... FBI Agent Gregory
Lyle Bettger ... Klaus
Lawrence Tierney ... Mr. Henderson
Emmett Kelly ... Emmett Kelly
Cucciola Cucciola ... Cucciola
Antoinette Concello Antoinette Concello ... Antoinette Concello
John Ringling North John Ringling North ... John Ringling North
Tuffy Genders Tuffy Genders ... Tuffy Genders
John Kellogg ... Harry
John Ridgely ... Assistant Manager
Edit

Storyline

To ensure a full profitable season, circus manager Brad Braden engages The Great Sebastian, though this moves his girlfriend Holly from her hard-won center trapeze spot. Holly and Sebastian begin a dangerous one-upmanship duel in the ring, while he pursues her on the ground. Subplots involve the secret past of Buttons the Clown and the efforts of racketeers to move in on the game concessions. Let the show begin! Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Academy Award winner "Best Picture"! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

May 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth See more »

Filming Locations:

Cedar City, Utah, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$36,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Rights to use of the title motto, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's facilities, and performances, were purchased for 250,000 dollars. Cecil B. DeMille advised the writers to view the German film Variety (1925) as a model for the type of story he wanted. He toured the Midwest for two months with the circus, collecting anecdotes, slang, and behind-the-scenes ideas. Publicity resulting from his involvement drew sell-out crowds to the performances. See more »

Goofs

In one scene Buttons the clown is wrapping cloth tape around Holly's trapeze bar. He wraps it for about a third of its length then lays it down. When he lays it down it is clear that there is almost no tape left on the roll. When he picks it back up a short time later the bar is wrapped almost three quarters of the way and the roll of tape is much bigger. See more »

Quotes

Holly: I'd hate to have your nerve in a tooth!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

An der schönen blauen Donau Walzer (The Blue Danube Waltz), Op. 314
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played during the sword swallowing demonstration
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Highly entertaining and informative
24 March 2000 | by Elizabeth-328See all my reviews

I've never been to the circus, so I think of this movie as my trip to the circus. Charlton Heston is great as Brad, the all business manager of the circus. But my favorite character is James Stewart as Buttons the Clown. It's a very different role for him, but it's great.

The Best Picture of 1952, "The Greatest Show on Earth" is wonderful, especially if you've never experienced it. I think this is one of Cecil B. De Mille's finest movies, and I recommend it to everyone. So I give it a 10 out of 10!


37 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 123 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed