6.5/10
175
4 user 2 critic
The amazing biography of legendary circus impresario and unparalleled showman, P.T. Barnum.

Director:

Lee Philips

Writers:

Michael Norell (teleplay), Michael Norell (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Phineas Taylor 'P.T.' Barnum
Hanna Schygulla ... Jenny Lind
John Roney John Roney ... Young Barnum
Sandor Raski Sandor Raski ... Tom Thumb
Patty Maloney ... Tom Thumb
Laura Press Laura Press ... Charity
Kirsten Bishop ... Nancy
Michael Higgins ... Phineas Taylor
Lorena Gale ... Joyce Heth
Deborah Hancock Deborah Hancock ... Caroline
Andrew Bednarski ... Little Phineas
Joe Cazalet Joe Cazalet ... James Gordon Bennett
Rob Roy Rob Roy ... Horace Greeley
Bronwen Mantel Bronwen Mantel ... Queen Victoria
Sean Hewitt ... Coley Draper
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Storyline

Phineas T. Barnum looks back at his life, starting when he is just a little boy. The movie shows how he muddled through his life and how he finally became a successful circus-master. But to get there he had to risk everything he had and show enormous courage. Written by R. Kessen <rhkessen@cs.vu.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barnum cirkuskungen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Mr. Fish: Mr. Barnum, I must shake your hand. My name is John Fish.
Phineas Taylor 'P.T.' Barnum: A pleasure, sir.
Mr. Fish: You are my hero, sir. Three years ago I read your autobiography. I was nothing but a mill-hand, but I was inspired by your book. So I advertised for a partner to help me in establishing a cotton mill. We did what we set out to do, and today I'm a man of means. It's thanks to you.
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User Reviews

Wonderful Movie
25 October 2001 | by publicenemySee all my reviews

First the bad news. Burt Lancaster is much too old for the part. Though they use a younger actor for much of Barnum's youth, when they switch to Lancaster, he's clearly much older than the character he's playing.

Now the good news. Burt Lancaster. He's great. No one else could play P.T. Barnum as well as Bur Lancaster. Thank God they overlooked the age factor and went for someone with the right soul. If you want someone to play the great Barnum, get a great actor. And they did.

The script is beautifully written. Because of that, even though the movie was obviously shot on a budget, it suffers not at all. Much as my kids loved it, this isn't really a kids movie. I mean it's good for kids -- they will like it -- but so will anyone interested in P.T. Barnum or 19th Century America. In other words, do not write this off as a mere kids movie because it's not.


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