Circus World ()

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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... See more »

  • Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations.
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Cast verified as complete

Matt Masters
Toni Alfredo
Lili Alfredo
Cap Carson
Aldo Alfredo
Steve McCabe
Katharyna ...
Katherine Kath ...
Wanda Rotha ...
Mrs. Schuman
Maggie Rennie ...
Anna (as Maggie Macgrath)
Billy Hennigan
Barcelona's Mayor (as Jose Maria Cafarell)
Flo Hunt
Francois Calepides ...
Robert Cunningham ...
Hans Dantes ...
Emile Schuman (as Hans Dante)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Catherine Ellison ...
Molly (uncredited)
Margaret Fuller ...
Woman with Binoculars (uncredited)
Bartender (uncredited)
Sydna Scott ...
Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Madrid Bartender (uncredited)

Directed by

Henry Hathaway

Written by

Ben Hecht ... (screenplay)
Julian Zimet ... (screenplay)
James Edward Grant ... (screenplay)
Bernard Gordon ... (story)
Nicholas Ray ... (story)
Philip Yordan ... (front for Bernard Gordon)

Produced by

Samuel Bronston ... producer
Michal Waszynski ... executive associate producer (as Michael Waszynski)

Music by

Dimitri Tiomkin

Cinematography by

Jack Hildyard ... director of photography

Film Editing by

Dorothy Spencer

Casting By

Maude Spector ... (uncredited)

Production Design by

John DeCuir ... (as John De Cuir)

Costume Design by

Renié ... (costumes designed by) (as Renie)

Makeup Department

Grazia De Rossi ... hairdresser
Mario Van Riel ... makeup artist
Web Overlander ... makeup artist (uncredited)
José Luis Pérez ... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)

Production Management

C.O. Erickson ... executive production manager
Tadeo Villalba ... unit manager (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

José López Rodero ... assistant director (as Jose Lopez Rodero)
Richard Talmadge ... second unit director
Terry Yorke ... assistant director: second unit (uncredited)

Art Department

José María Alarcón ... assistant production designer (uncredited)
Stanley Detlie ... master of properties (uncredited)
Julián Martín ... painter (uncredited)

Sound Department

David Hildyard ... sound mixer
Gordon K. McCallum ... sound re-recordist
Graham V. Hartstone ... sound assistant (uncredited)
Otto Snel ... sound recordist (uncredited)

Special Effects by

Alan Bryce ... special effects (uncredited)
Brian Gamby ... special effects (uncredited)
Jimmy Harris ... special effects (uncredited)
Fred Heather ... special effects (uncredited)
Garth Inns ... special effects (uncredited)
Richard Parker ... special effects (uncredited)
Pablo Pérez ... special effects (uncredited)
Jimmy Ward ... special effects (uncredited)
Alex Weldon ... special effects (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

Linwood G. Dunn ... consultant: special photographic effects (uncredited)
Doug Ferris ... matte painter (uncredited)


Brandy ... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Terhune ... stunt double: John Wayne (uncredited)
Fred Waugh ... stunts (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Claude Renoir ... second unit cameraman
Andrés Berenguer ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Gerry Fisher ... camera operator (uncredited)
Douglas Milsome ... clapper loader (uncredited)
Bruno Pasqualini ... supervising electrician (uncredited)
Lothar Winkler ... still photographer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Anna Maria Feo ... wardrobe (uncredited)

Music Department

Dimitri Tiomkin ... conductor
Lawrence Ashmore ... additional orchestrator (uncredited)
David Tamkin ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Herbert Taylor ... orchestrator (uncredited)

Other crew

Franz Althoff ... technical advisor: Althoff Circus
Samuel Bronston ... presenter
Elaine Schreyeck ... continuity
Umberto Bedini ... circus performances coordinator (uncredited)
Frank Capra Jr. ... circus operations (uncredited)
Bob Dover ... circus performances coordinator (uncredited) / special technical advisor (uncredited)
Carl Gibson ... supervising technician (uncredited)
Dong Kingman ... title designer (uncredited)
Josef Leshkov ... horse trainer (uncredited)
Alfredo Marqueríe ... technical advisor (uncredited)
Perezoff ... circus performances coordinator (uncredited)
Kay Rawlings ... continuity: second unit (uncredited)
George Tyne ... dialogue coach (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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 his search for Lili, Matt's show plays Brussels, Vienna, Prague, Copenhagen, Rome, Milan, and finally Madrid, where Lili is part of the audience. Written by Les Adams

Plot Keywords
Taglines All WAYNE...And a World Wide... See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Henry Hathaway's Circus World (United States)
  • The Magnificent Showman (Ireland, English title)
  • Henry Hathaway's The Magnificent Showman (United Kingdom)
  • The Magnificent Showman (United Kingdom)
  • Le plus grand cirque du monde (France)
  • See more »
  • 135 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $9,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia John Wayne was suffering from lung cancer during filming (although he didn't know it at the time). After the near fatal fire scene accident he started having a chronic cough and that night started spitting up spots of blood (he continued to chain smoke cigarettes, still unaware of the real cause). The intense fire stunt seemed to inflame his condition. 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 »
Movie Connections Featured in John Wayne Behind the Scenes (2007). See more »
Soundtracks Circus World See more »
Quotes Toni Alfredo: Kid? I am a Woman... with Sicilian blood in her. You ever hear of a vendetta?
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