6.2/10
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22 user 7 critic

Circus World (1964)

Approved | | Drama, Western | 25 June 1964 (USA)
When circus proprietor Matt Masters decides to take his show on a European tour, it is beset by problems, while he searches for Lili, the mother of his adopted daughter, who disappeared years before.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

Ben Hecht (screenplay), Julian Zimet (screenplay) (as Julian Halevy) | 4 more credits »
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Matt Masters
Claudia Cardinale ... Toni Alfredo
Rita Hayworth ... Lili Alfredo
Lloyd Nolan ... Cap Carson
Richard Conte ... Aldo Alfredo
John Smith ... Steve McCabe
Katharyna Katharyna ... Giovana
Katherine Kath Katherine Kath ... Hilda
Wanda Rotha ... Mrs. Schuman
Maggie Rennie Maggie Rennie ... Anna (as Maggie Macgrath)
Miles Malleson ... Billy Hennigan
José María Caffarel ... Barcelona's Mayor (as Jose Maria Cafarell)
Kay Walsh ... Flo Hunt
Francois Calepides Francois Calepides ... Ringmaster
Robert Cunningham Robert Cunningham ... Ringmaster
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Storyline

In the early years of the 20th century, Matt Masters takes his rambling Wild West Show to Europe. His decision is prompted by his desire to find Lili Alfredo, who disappeared fourteen years earlier following the death of her husband, The Flying Alfredo. At the time it was believed that Alfredo dived to his death deliberately when he realized his wife loved Matt and not him. Toni, a beautiful trapeze performer, raised by Matt is actually Lili's daughter, and she is in love with Steve McCabe, one of the stars on Matt's show. Doing their first show in Barcelona, aboard a ship, the ship keels over and Matt loses his show. Now broke, he leaves for Paris with Toni, Steve and his long-time friend, Cap Carson, to seek a job with Colonel Purdy's Wild West Show. But a year later, Matt has rebuilt his own show. First to be signed is a remarkable 12-year-old wire-walker named Giovana, and her guardian, Tojo the Clown, whose real named is Aldo Alfredo, formerly of the Flying Alfredos. Continuing ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All WAYNE...And a World Wide... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 June 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Henry Hathaway's Circus World See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whilst filming a scene where the main tent catches fire, John Wayne was almost killed when the set collapsed. As he was "fighting" the fire, Wayne was to be cued by the assistant director when to leave before the set was to collapse in flames. Either Wayne didn't hear the cue, or the a.d. mistimed it (it was never determined which), but the flaming set began to collapse before Wayne got out. He escaped with just a few seconds to spare before the entire set would have fallen down on top of him. See more »

Goofs

Whilst the film is taking place in 1901, there are several mistakes with the European flags. One example is the Finnish flag that is seen in the movie. Finland didn't achieve independence (and the flag) until 1918. See more »

Quotes

Toni Alfredo: Kid? I am a Woman... with Sicilian blood in her. You ever hear of a vendetta?
See more »

Connections

Featured in John Wayne Behind the Scenes (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Arranged by Dimitri Tiomkin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slow moving and overlong film upon circus world with the great John Wayne
29 January 2005 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The movie talks about a circus employer (a proprietor beset by problems called Matt Masters well played by John Wayne who was suffering from the early stages of lung cancer) who decides to take his show on a European tour along with his fostered daughter (a gorgeous Claudia Cardinale) and her lover (John Smith) . Meanwhile , the Circus owner searches for the mother of his adopted daughter , who disappeared years before , she is a trapeze artiste (a veteran Rita Hayworth) who bears a dark secret that originates the drama .

In the picture there is a love story , circus show , melodrama in which protagonists are caught in emotional conflicts , but it isn't fast movement and that's why it is a little boring and dreary . Furthermore , film runtime is overlong : two hours and some , 135 minutes approx. , and there happens a few events . ¨The greatest show of the earth¨ by Cecil B. Mille with Charlton Heston resulted to be much better and obtained several Oscars , while ¨Circus world¨ , a typical John Wayne film , was a real flop and failed in the box office and didn't achieve success at nowhere . In spite of the numerous and famous screenwriters : Ben Hetch's last film , Philip Jordan Nicholas Ray and James Edward Grant (who John Wayne insisted to be brought to rewrite it) , the plot is confusing and embarrassing . The picture finished to sink the Samuel Bronston's empire along with ¨The fall of the Roman Empire¨ because of both movies didn't make money . However, the circus spectacles are breathtaking : the racehorses , stagecoach pursuits with Indians riders, the clown shows , the trapeze artistes are spellbound . Support cast is frankly good , such as : Rita Hayworth , John Smith , Richard Conte , Jose Maria Caffarel , Milles Malleson and Lloyd Nolan replaced David Niven who was originally cast as Cap Carson .

The movie was regularly directed by Henry Hathaway , though Frank Capra began this project but he turned it down due to he wanted to use his own script . Hathaway was a skillful craftsman with a long career . Big John Wayne played for Hathaway various films as ¨The sons of Katie Elder (65), ¨Circus World (64) ¨ certainly not one of his memorable movies , ¨How the west was won (62) ¨, ¨ North to Alaska (60)¨ , but his greatest hit smash was ¨True grit (69)¨ in which Wayne won his only Academy Award . Although Hathaway was a highly successful and reliable director film-making within the Hollywood studio system , his work has received little consideration from reviewers . The motion picture will appeal to John Wayne and circus fans . Rating : Average. Score : 4,30/10


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