The Greatest Show on Earth

directed by Cecil B. DeMille
Category: "Drama"
Year of Release:1952
Date Added:04/11/2008
Date Watched:12/02/2005
My Rating:7

Reviews for The Greatest Show on Earth

Review - Greatest Show on Earth, The

A season with the Ringling Brothers, Barnun & Bailey Circus under the big top. Brad is the manager who keeps all the acts and performers in line. His girlfriend is Holly, the center-ring trapeze artist. But she has to move over to ring one when Brad hires Sebastian, another trapeze artist who is a bigger draw. While Holly and Sebastian vie for top billing, Sebastian works to steal Holly from Brad.

Also with the circus is Angel, who works with the elephants under the leadership of Klaus, who loves her. Angel wants nothing to do with him, however. She also used to be involved with Sebastian in a different circus. Buttons is a clown who used to be a doctor. His wife was dying, so he put her to death so she wouldn’t have to be in pain, and now the law is looking for him for murder.

To impress Holly, Sebastian tries a dangerous stunt and falls. His arm is injured and he can no longer perform, but Brad gives him a job as a barker. Holly decides she loves Sebastian. When Angel sees this, she moves in on Brad. This infuriates Klaus who teams up with a crook to stop the train on the way to the next town and rob the pay wagon. While robbing the train, Klaus sees the second unit train approaching and tries to stop it to save Angel. He and the crook die and the trains crash. Brad is hurt bad, and Buttons saves his life, which exposes who he is to the FBI agent looking for him and he is arrested. Sebastian donates the blood Brad needs, then asks Angel to marry him. Brad wants to tell Holly he loves her, but she’s too busy putting on what’s left of the show in a field next to the crash site so the townspeople won’t be disappointed.

All of this is done amidst real scenes of the circus and actual performances with some other actors like Dorothy Lamour playing performers and actual performers like Emmet Kelly playing themselves. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby have cameos as people in a crowd. It all actually works, although there are plot holes and corny scenes. It was far better than I expected.
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