7.1/10
864
23 user 6 critic

Man on a Tightrope (1953)

Czech circus owner-Clown and his entire troupe employ a daring stratagem in order to escape en masse from behind the iron curtain.

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writers:

Neil Paterson (story "International Incident"), Robert E. Sherwood
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fredric March ... Karel Cernik
Terry Moore ... Tereza Cernik
Gloria Grahame ... Zama Cernik
Cameron Mitchell ... Joe Vosdek
Adolphe Menjou ... Fesker
Robert Beatty ... Barovic
Alexander D'Arcy ... Rudolph (as Alex D'Arcy)
Richard Boone ... Krofta
Pat Henning Pat Henning ... Konradin
Paul Hartman ... Jaremir
John Dehner ... The Chief
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Storyline

In 1950s Czechoslovakia circus manager Karel Cernik is planning an escape from Communism to freedom.His idea is to force his way across the guarded border using his entire circus.Three years in the making his idea is ready to be tested when he's suddenly summoned to a Secret Police routine questioning about his circus' program.To Cernik it's clear that he has an informer among his staff who reports his activities and private talks to the Secret Police. The Americans are just across the river in a nearby border village but Cernik needs a special permit from the Secret Police allowing his circus freedom of movement in the border areas to perform his shows.This hard to get permit is vital to his escape plan.To make matters worse his wife is being unfaithful, his daughter has fallen in love with the new stables boy,his circus is falling apart and his longtime rival, Barovik, wants to take over Cernik's circus. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The headline-hot drama of how a whole circus escaped the hand of terror !

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | West Germany

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

29 June 1953 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

International Incident See more »

Filming Locations:

Fall, Bavaria, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Marlene Dietrich turned down the role that eventually went to Gloria Grahame. See more »

Goofs

When Fredric March is being interrogated, the inkwell in front of him is uncovered, when the camera switches between him & his interrogator, the inkwell's cover is on. See more »

Quotes

Rudolph: [to Cernik] The curse of my life is that I'm a handsome man.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Masters: None Without Sin (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

William Tell Overture
(uncredited)
Music by Gioachino Rossini
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Hidden Gem
17 August 2001 | by dadndscSee all my reviews

This little movie is an exciting sleeper. It is a fictional story of a real incident about a small circus in an Eastern Bloc country that planned to escape to the West during the cold war. With uniformly excellent performances by all one of its unique accomplishments is the creation of a real sense of place. Although most of the cast is North American and speak in English, through the use of carefully written dialog, well thought out characterizations and wordrobe you have no doubt that you are in a foreign country listening to people speaking in their own language.

A real candidate for resurrection and re-isse.


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