- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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All Time Great Film!
I turned on the TV today to see that I missed a showing of this movie. I was VERY disappointed. I haven't seen this film in YEARS! Please, TCM show it soon.Jimmy Stewart, Betty Hutton, Charleston Heston, Gloria Grahame, Emmett Kelly, Cornel Wilde and literally hundreds of Circus Stars make this saga of the Ringling Brothers - Barnum and Bailey one of the most entertaining movies ever filmed. The story is good, the acting great, and the entire film is an experience to remember. I do remember going to the circus in the 1950's when I was a lad. This film is a delight of nostalgia. Darn, I wish I hadn't missed it!
The greatest show is a great enigma
This is largely a documentary about the circus with a proverbial love triangle, a fugitive from the law, and some downright shady characters woven into the fabric. Betty Hutton overacts from start to finish in my opinion. There are some truly puzzling plot elements as well, like Buttons the clown who wears his makeup 24 x 7 and nobody wonders why. Look past this stuff and it's an entertaining movie, but also considered one of the biggest enigmas in the history of the academy awards for getting the best picture Oscar over other nominees like High Noon and The Quiet Man.
Schedule this movie
An Oscar winner for Best Picture; NEVER featured during 31 Days of Oscar; NEVER featured during Summer Under the Stars; This Movie needs to be scheduled now that the ORIGINAL Greatest Show on Earth has ceased all performances and is retired. TCM needs to do a classic circus themed day/actor broadcast to give this greatest of all time childhood memories for generations a TCM Sendoff. Let's get this on the scheudle ASAP.
Greatest Show on Earth personal trivia
- Rick Vann
Some of the official descriptions that the filming of this movie started sometime in 1951 are not completely accurate based upon my own personal knowledge. From 1947 to the middle of 1951 my dad worked for MGM and also worked on the movie. Some filming started as early as 1950, and here is my personal recollection of what I experienced. In December of 1950, shortly after I turned 3, family members of the movie crew were invited to be an audience on the set in Thousand Oaks, but I am not sure about that location. What I do remember is being there with my mom and seeing elephants walking by as we entered the area. My dad was working the set at the time. There were also other circus animals with their trainers at various locations under small open tents with only a rope between the public and the animal. My dad told me that they were waiting for a call to appear in a scene. Of course this was before all the safety worries of today. Once my mom found my dad on the set she relaxed her grip on my hand allowing get away and I immediately ran for one of the tents with a Bengal tiger inside partly lying on a large box with his trainer beside him. I saw the tiger as we walked in and was fascinated. Now with my freedom I thought it was a chance get a ride on the tiger's back. I actually thought it was a big dog. I did enter the tent and started to climb on the back of the tiger at the same time my mom and dad saw what I was doing. The tiger, startled, sat up with its front paws on the training box, and panic set in with spectators and my parents. My dad, who always carried a knife on movie sets to cut ropes and rigging, pulled out his knife and started under the rope. The trainer took charge and told everyone including my dad to settle down. I have a picture of me standing right in front of the tiger. A studio photographer who was there at the time took the picture and had it printed in the MGM studio employee newspaper December 1950, before official accounts of the filming
Greatest show on Earth
I loved this movie! My children loved it and now my grandchildren love it. The animals are exciting to the small children. The older children like the music and Buttons. Then when they are old enough, the story line draws them in. I think the cast is wonderful. The story is good but then again I have sawdust in my veins. Lol
Greatest circus movie ever made
- Harry Kingston
I am a circus fan and belong to circus fans of America as well as a film fan. To us circus fans this is the Greatest circus film ever made. On several circus blogs we have looked at this film from many angles.C B DeMille who always gives the public the best in what he does went all out on this movie. Mr. DeMille was a circus fan as well.The lush Technicolor photgraphy captures the circus as it once was large and under the big top which is the REAL circus and on rails and the way us circus fans like it.Just imagine an empty lot in some city in America and then the circus comes in and sets in before noon and gives two complete performances and tears down and moves on to another city. Not an easy job but it was done every day rain or shine.I had the great pleasure to meet Jimmy Stewart and talk to him about his great performance in Greatest show.He was nice enough to autograph my poster of this film.Mr. Stewart was to have joined the circus in Washington D C but joined the circus in Philadelphia.Demille had to get with the Technicolor company and get a faster speed film when filming under the big top.DeMille captured on film something that no longer exists anymore and lucky he did as just a few years later in 1956 the tenterd railroad circus was gone forever.I hope when you set down and watch Greatest show, you have the pleasure of seeing the circus as it once was and in the greatest color ever, Technicolor as it once was.I have seen this film over 500 plus times and still find things I have not seen or noticed before.Greatest show on Earth brings back the kid in all of us from 8 to 80 and many fond memories of going to the circus.
Circus All The way.
- Joe Giordano
Mr. DeMille captures The Greatest Circus of all time in all it's glory. A good portion of the movie was filmed on location at Ringling Bros. winter-quarters in Sarasota and on the road in Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The circus performance is actually the 1951 edition as the picture was released in 1952. In addition to the story line DeMille filmed a lasting document of how it was. Shortly after in 1956 Ringling struck their tents for the last time in Pittsburgh Pa.. So this picture has great historical significance. Just a bit of trivia. Jimmy Stewart filmed all his scenes in Hollywood. The only major actor/actress to do so. All of the others participated in filming in at least one of the three other locations beside Hollywood. DeMille actually began prep work during the 1950 season traveling with the show on the road. The circus parade at the end was filmed in Sarasota Fla.. It seems everyone in the county turned out to be on hand for the filming of the parade.The film is entertaining and provides a nostalgic look back to the way it was. Circus Fans everywhere cherish this film.
This is a "can't miss"
- David D
I've seen it several times and never get tired of it. It's the story of the daily lives of circus performers. The love, the sex, the egos, and the dark sides. I fell in love with Betty Hutton after seeing this movie. You will too!!
There are so many wonderful Betty Hutton movies. Why are we so limited as to her movies? Why can't we have a Betty Hutton collection of movies you can not get now like: Dream Girl, Somebody Loves Me, Red Hot and Blue, Incendiary Blonde, Let's Dance, Spring Reunion. We never get to see these. We want them in our own DVD collections! What's the hold up???
Top Of The List
This film is definately one of my top 10 favorite films of all time! The story, the characters, the sets and cosumes... I could go on about the brilliance and perfection of this movie. Since I'm voicing my opinions anyways, I find that now-a-days, there aren't a lot of films that are made from an original idea. They seem to all come from books, old TV shows, or sequels of films. Not to say that I don't enjoy watching those films but it's nice to go back in time and see what original film ideas are supposed to be like.
I've never seen this film before, but I was truly dazzled by the star quality, the brilliant color and costumes! Wow!
Greatest Show On Earth
Was a wonderful movie i was born in 51but this movie was one of my favorest and still is in 2007