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Barnum! (1986)

Not Rated | | Biography, Musical | TV Movie
Barnum the musical traces Phineas Taylor Barnum's career from 1835 to 1881 when he joined James A. Bailey to form the circus which was called The Greatest Show on Earth. Barnum is a ... See full summary »

Directors:

Peter Coe, Terry Hughes

Writer:

Mark Bramble (book)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Crawford ... Phineas Taylor Barnum
Eileen Battye Eileen Battye ... Charity 'Chairy' Barnum
Michael Heath ... Ringmaster
Christina Collier Christina Collier ... Jenny Lind
Sharon Benson Sharon Benson ... Joice Heth
Paul Miller Paul Miller ... Tom Thumb
Peter Barbour Peter Barbour
Sue Barbour Sue Barbour
Michael Cantwell Michael Cantwell
Perry Davey Perry Davey
James Francis Johnston James Francis Johnston
Graham Fawcett Graham Fawcett
Richard Gauntlett Richard Gauntlett
Paul Goddard
Alan Heap Alan Heap
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Storyline

Barnum the musical traces Phineas Taylor Barnum's career from 1835 to 1881 when he joined James A. Bailey to form the circus which was called The Greatest Show on Earth. Barnum is a defender of "the noble art of humbug" with a philosophy, and has a free wheeling ambition to make a fortune. He buys the oldest woman in the world, named Joyce Heath, as a sideshow attraction. Barnum builds a museum of curiosities supported by his wife Charity, who would like him to settle down. Written by Jenny Evans <J.Evans@uts.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Musical

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim Dale won the 1980 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Musical for "Barnum" in the title role. See more »

Quotes

P.T. Barnum: All right damn it. Why don't we just leave it to the fates. Heads it's yes, tails it's no.
[flips his coin]
P.T. Barnum: Mr. Bailey, you got yourself a partner!
Ringmaster: To the biggest show in the country!
P.T. Barnum: To the greatest show on earth!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The BBC original had an extra scene after the first number about a mermaid which is cut from the american dvd See more »

Connections

Featured in The Many Faces of...: Michael Crawford (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

"The Colours of My Life reprise
Performed by Michael Crawford and Deborah Grant
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Join this Circus
21 August 2003 | by LoringSee all my reviews

Barnum's life turned into the greatest show on earth in a live musical performance with the extraordinary Michael Crawford. I saw this show live with Jim Dale and Glenn Close in NY. The show was breath-taking and your jaw will drop watching the video too. The performance is so fast-paced and so complex. I watch in wonder and ask myself how they could perform circus acts on a theater stage and sing wonderfully at the same time. The part of Barnum is so taxing, both physically (a variety of circus acts he takes part in) and mentally (there are several patter songs, a la Gilbert and Sullivan) that one wonders how Crawford or Dale could have performed it live eight times a week. The story is exciting, exuberant, suspenseful, hilarious and bittersweet and every performer is a consummate pro. The staging is masterful. (How do you present Tom Thumb and Jumbo the Elephant together realistically on the modern stage? Watch and find out.) This video would be great to watch with the whole family. Turn off the electric dishwasher and turn "One Brick at a Time" into a "One Dish at a Time" family dishwashing routine, though it may result in some smashed dinnerware unless you are a very coordinated family. Great music, great performances, lots of fun.


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