Cast & Crew
In Munich, Germany, Lilly, an impoverished local woman, picks the pocket of visiting carnival spieler Toni. Instead of turning Lilly over to the police, Toni persuades Karl, the carnival's owner, to give her a menial job with the show. Lilly's gratitude develops into a passionate affair with Toni, but she soon realizes that he is a cad when he treats her badly. Later, Franz, the carnival's high-dive performer, who dives from atop a 150-foot ladder into a flaming, six-foot-deep tank of water, suggests that Lilly train to become his partner. Lilly's training goes well and she is soon ready to perform with Franz. Their act becomes the hit of the carnival and they marry. Lilly, however, is not really in love with Franz and is still drawn to Toni, although he has seduced another female performer in the carnival. After Lilly confesses to Toni that she is still in love with him, Toni persuades her to get some money so that they can run away together. When Franz discovers them together, he beats Toni and demands that Karl fire him. The next day, while Richard, a photographer friend of Franz, covers the high-dive act for a magazine, one of the top rungs on Franz's ladder breaks and he falls to his death, leaving Lilly a wealthy widow. Lilly then decides to continue the act and negotiates a new contract with Karl. When Toni returns, Lilly again permits herself to be seduced, but finally ends their relationship when he steals all her money. After developing a tender romance with Richard, Lilly decides to perform Franz's most difficult dive, but miscalculates and is seriously injured when she hits the water. Richard helps Lilly to recuperate and they fall deeper in love. Without its star attraction, the carnival suffers a substantial drop in revenue and Karl decides to move on to Frankfurt where a recovered Lilly rejoins the show. Toni returns once again and tries to persuade Lilly that they can make a lot of money together. However, Lilly is now able to resist his advances and refuses to have anything to do with him. Furious, Toni then reveals that he sabotaged Franz's ladder, causing his death, and threatens to implicate her in Franz's murder. Toni grabs Lilly, who screams, alerting her friend Groppo, the carnival's mute strong man, who chases Toni through the carnival and onto the ferris wheel. Toni falls to his death when Groppo pushes him off one of the wheel's gondolas. As the police lead Groppo away, Lilly is now free to find happiness with the devoted Richard.
Achmed Ben Taihi Moulai
Georg V. Block
Edward S. Haworth
Theo De Maal
Rudibert V. Spraeter
C. B. Williams
The German-language film Circus of Love was shot simultaneously with the 1954 English-language release Carnival Story. Circus of Love was exhibited in Germany as Rummelplatz der Liebe. Although a viewing print could not be located, the summary above was derived from the distributor's pressbook and from reviews. The New York Times review stated that "scene-by-scene, the two pictures are almost identical." Although Circus of Love was announced to be shot in 3-D, according to a Los Angeles Daily News report of July 20, 1953, that plan was abandoned and no record of 3-D exhibitions in Germany, or in the U.S., have been located.
In the German-language version Curt Jürgens, Eva Bartok, Bernhard Wicki, Robert Freytag and Willi Rose played the roles performed respectively by Steve Cochran, Anne Baxter, Lyle Bettger, George Nader and Jay C. Flippen in the English-language version. The pressbook and New York Times review describe Jürgens' character as a carnival "spieler." In Carnival Story, Cochran portrayed a carnival advance man and "spieler." According to the New York Times review, Cochran and Baxter can be seen as extras in the German version, probably in the same scene in which Jürgens and Bartok appear in Carnival Story. Helene Stanley, Adi Berber, Jacob Möslacher and Jadin Wong reprised their English-language roles in Circus of Love.
A Daily Variety news item of August 20, 1958 reported that Circus of Love had been booked into 400 U.S. theaters, including several drive-ins, which had never played non-dubbed, foreign-language films.