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Water for Elephants (2011)

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Set in the 1930s, a former veterinary student takes a job in a travelling circus and falls in love with the ringmaster's wife.

Director:

Francis Lawrence

Writers:

Richard LaGravenese (screenplay), Sara Gruen (novel)
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Popularity
4,384 ( 224)
3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Reese Witherspoon ... Marlena
Robert Pattinson ... Jacob
Christoph Waltz ... August
Paul Schneider ... Charlie
Jim Norton ... Camel
Hal Holbrook ... Old Jacob
Mark Povinelli ... Kinko / Walter
Richard Brake ... Grady
Stephen Monroe Taylor ... Wade
Ken Foree ... Earl
Scott MacDonald ... Blackie
James Frain ... Rosie's Caretaker
Sam Anderson ... Mr. Hyde
John Aylward ... Mr. Erwin
Brad Greenquist ... Mr. Robinson
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Storyline

After his parents' death, Jacob Jankowski is left penniless and homeless. Events lead him to joining the circus as their vet, working under their unstable boss August whose violent tendencies give everyone reason to be cautious around him, including his beautiful and quiet wife Marlena, whom August is very possessive of and who Jacob finds himself soon falling in love with. Written by mel47

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is the most spectacular show on earth.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for moments of intense violence and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Polish

Release Date:

22 April 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agua para elefantes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,842,353, 24 April 2011

Gross USA:

$58,709,717

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$117,094,902
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color | Black and White (home movie sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Almost all of the circus wagon carts that appeared in the movie were the original carts from the Ringling Brother's shows. During production, the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin shipped its circus carts to California to be used for filming. As of late, they are all now back in their original display building. See more »

Goofs

After their first dinner together, August is very drunk and Marlena carries him in their bedroom. When she comes out again, where Jacob is sitting, she pulls the drapes together, but doesn't close them completely - there is a significant gap between them. However, when Jacob leaves after Marlena has asked him to, the drapes are completely closed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Russ: [in the rain] Uh, Excuse me sir. Can we help you? Can we help you with something?
Old Jacob: Did I miss the Spec?
Charlie: Uh, yeah, I'm afraid so. The show was this afternoon.
Old Jacob: Oh.
Charlie: Did you come with the folks from Green Haven? Why don't we get out of the rain, and we'll call them for you.
Old Jacob: No, no! I came on my own.
Russ: It's okay. We're gonna call the home. We're gonna have them come pick you up.
Old Jacob: I'm telling you, I didn't come with the home! Why don't you take those rings out of your head, and maybe you ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

In 'The producers wish to thank' section of the credits, the Circus World Museum is listed as being in Barbaroo, WI. The actual town is Baraboo, WI. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 2011 MTV Movie Awards (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl
Written by J. Tim Brymn, Clarence Williams and Dally Small
Performed by Bessie Smith
Courtesy of Columbia Records by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One Spectacular Show
22 April 2011 | by catarinalossSee all my reviews

Readers, fear not. This is one adaption that lives up to the book.

Water for Elephants is pure beauty. Despite the fact that it takes place during the Depression, it makes you almost wish you lived during the '30s.

One reason is the costumes. They are wonderfully done, as well as the makeup. Another is the eye candy. No, I'm not talking about Robert Pattinson(though he looks as gorgeous as ever). I'm talking about the breathtaking cinematography, courtesy of Rodrigo Prieto.

While the leads(Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz) all turn in GREAT performances, the real star here is Tai the elephant. She plays Rosie, the newest addition to The Benzini Bros. Most Spectacular Show on Earth, who is brought in in hopes of taking The Benzini Bros. circus to a new level(particularly to the level of Ringling Bros.).

As per usual, there are quite a few changes that may or may not irritate the readers. It all depends on the person. One that I felt was an improvement upon the book, however, was the combining of August and Uncle Al. I honestly didn't miss Al one bit.

Water for Elephants is a beautiful, enchanting, mesmerizing must-see.


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