6.2/10
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45 user 20 critic

Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962)

A debt-ridden circus is saved by a well-meaning but inept publicity man.

Director:

Charles Walters

Writers:

Ben Hecht (book), Charles MacArthur (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Doris Day ... Kitty Wonder
Stephen Boyd ... Sam Rawlins
Jimmy Durante ... Anthony 'Pop' Wonder
Martha Raye ... Lulu
Dean Jagger ... John Noble
Joseph Waring Joseph Waring ... Harry
Lynn Wood ... Tina
Charles Watts Charles Watts ... Ellis
James Chandler James Chandler ... Parsons
Robert Burton ... Madison
Wilson Wood Wilson Wood ... Hank
Norman Leavitt ... Eddie
Grady Sutton ... Driver
Ron Henon Ron Henon ... Circus Performer
The Carlisles The Carlisles ... Circus Performers
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Storyline

It's the early 1900's. The Wonder Circus is a traveling circus owned and operated by Anthony Wonder - who performs as a clown - and his daughter Kitty Wonder - who performs as an aerialist and trick rider. Although Kitty loves her Pop as she and all the other circus performers call her father, she hates his gambling addiction which is placing the circus deep in debt. They and their employees treat the circus like one big family, especially Lulu the fortune teller who wants to be Mrs. Wonder, but the employees may only be so loyal if they aren't getting paid. As such, many of the performers leave or threaten to leave to join the Wonder Circus' main competitor, the Noble Circus owned by the power and money hungry John Noble. Although Pop and Kitty don't want anyone to leave their employ, the only act that they will never let go is Jumbo, their trained elephant, who Noble had tried to buy in the past. As many performers leave, into their midst comes circus Jack-of-all-trades Sam Rawlins.... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Wonderful Songs of Rodgers and Hart See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 December 1962 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Billy Rose's Jumbo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,256,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,500,000, 31 December 1963

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,000,000, 31 December 1963
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Euterpe,Arwin Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System) (magnetic prints)| Mono (optical prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was based on Billy Rose's 1935 Hippodrome extravaganza and one of Rose's stipulations in negotiating the screen rights was that his name be featured in the title. See more »

Goofs

In the film's opening shots of circus tents being erected, several five-man synchronized sledgehammer teams busily pound stakes into the ground, yet despite the Herculean efforts of these muscle dudes, the stakes don't sink an inch. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Munsters: The Most Beautiful Ghoul in the World (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Girl Blue
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Performed by Doris Day
See more »

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User Reviews

The most beautiful circus in the world.
5 September 2003 | by movibuf1962See all my reviews

For all its merits, "Jumbo" was not a perfect entity as it was released upon the last rung of film musicals, and by the 60's only adaptations of Broadway shows like "West Side Story" and "The Sound Of Music" were being released. As a result a lot of folks have dismissed this one, but I find it to be one of the best exhibitions of a specialized art form- namely, the circus. Populated with many real circus headliners, its musical portions are quite stylish and joyful- especially "Circus On Parade," the equestrian-flavored "This Can't Be Love," and the gorgeous opening number "Over and Over Again-" which shows off 2nd unit man Busby Berkely's visual flourish. (Note, in particular, the final pullback shot which shows all of the acts rehearsing en masse at the same time.) Ms. Day, already a top box office star due to her romantic comedies with Rock Hudson, is gorgeous in the film and her voice can only be described as velvety. Listen especially to her solos "My Romance," "Little Girl Blue," and most impressive, a nighttime duet between Day and Martha Raye in a wagon caravan entitled "Why Can't I?" Portions of the film are directed too slowly and leading man Stephen Boyd is wooden (I would have preferred Harve Presnell or even Howard Keel), but circus owner Jimmy Durante is marvelous in every scene he's in- especially where he's trying to hide an elephant!! The finale, with the cast dressed for a double wedding and dancing to "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" is truly lovely. If you've never seen a circus you could watch this and be satisfied that you spent an evening under the big top.


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