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The Greatest Show on Earth
- James Stewart

Overview - THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH is a dazzling, only-by-DeMille spectacle of life behind the scenes with Ringling Bros.-Barnum and Bailey Circus, the best three-ring circus in the land. The great showman Cecil B. DeMille produced and directed this splashy, colorful look at life under the big top.  Read more...

 
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More About The Greatest Show on Earth - James Stewart
 
 
 
Overview

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH is a dazzling, only-by-DeMille spectacle of life behind the scenes with Ringling Bros.-Barnum and Bailey Circus, the best three-ring circus in the land. The great showman Cecil B. DeMille produced and directed this splashy, colorful look at life under the big top. Charlton Heston stars as Brad Braden, the beloved circus manager who runs a tight ship with integrity and a big heart. In an effort to bring in enough money to guarantee a full tour, Brad hires the Great Sebastian (Cornel Wilde), a daredevil trapeze star, to replace his girlfriend, Holly (Betty Hutton), a beautiful and talented trapeze artist who had been promised the coveted center-ring spot. Sebastian, a suave ladies' man, instantly takes a liking to Holly despite their jealous rivalry. Holly and Sebastian carry on their feud high in the air, with an audience watching, performing a dangerous show of one-upmanship. While the two duel in the air, sparks fly on the ground, and Brad is too busy running the grand show to notice. This gutsy star-studded spectacle was produced in cooperation with Ringling Bros.-Barnum and Bailey circus and filmed in a semidocumentary style, with frequent cuts from the full-scale grandiose circus acts and larger-than-life costumes by the legendary Edith Head to real footage of the daily life on the road for the full-scale traveling operation. Jimmy Stewart costars in a gem of a role, as Buttons the clown, who is hiding from a mysterious past. This cavalcade of jaw-dropping visual splendor, complete with lions, elephants, and an action-packed train wreck of a finale, is DeMille at his grandiose best. Look for many small guest appearances from circus stars and celebrities, including Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

Awards:
1952 - Academy Awards - Best Picture Winner
1952 - Academy Awards - Best Motion Picture Story Winner

Cast List

W. Wallace Kelley - Process Photography
Sam Comer - American Set Decorator
Anne Bauchens - Editor
Theodore St. John
Hal Pereira - Production Designer
Ray Moyer - Set Decorator
Fredric M. Frank - American Screenwriter
Henry Wilcoxon - British Actor, producer
Barre Lyndon
Richard Barstow - Choreographer - The Greatest Show…
Betty Hutton - American actress, singer, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN
Betty June Thornburg - American actress, singer, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN
Gloria Grahame - American Actress
Gloria Hallward - American Actress
Lawrence Tierney - American Actor
Charlton Heston - Oscar-winning American actor, BEN HUR (1959)
Charles Carter - Oscar-winning American actor, BEN HUR (1959)
Charlton Easton - Oscar-winning American actor, BEN HUR (1959)
Devereaux Jennings
Peverell Marley - DeMille-era cinematographer
Cecil B. DeMille - American Director/Producer, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956)
Cecil Blount DeMille - American Director/Producer, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956)
Victor Young - Score Composer - "Three Coins in the Fountain"
John Kellogg - Supporting Actor
Dorothy Lamour - American actress, THE HURRICANE (1937)
Dorothy Leta Dorothy Kaumeyer - American actress, THE HURRICANE (1937)
Emmett Kelly Jr. - Circus Clown/Actor
Emmett Kelly - Circus Clown/Actor
Miles White - Costumes
Wally Westmore - Makeup Artist
Edith Head - Oscar winning costume designer, THE STING
Paul K. Lerpae - Special Effects
Paul Lerpae - Special Effects
George Barnes
Walter Tyler - Art Director
Frank Cavett - American screenwriter
Lyle Bettger - American Actor
Cornel Wilde - Actor/Director/Producer
James Stewart - Oscar-winning actor, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, VERTIGO, HARVEY
Jimmy Stewart - Oscar-winning actor, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, VERTIGO, HARVEY
Dorothy Jeakins
Gordon Jennings

 
Details
    DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 032429285157
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Release Date: October 2017

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Rivalry
Classic
Romance
Vintage
Epic
Recommended
Showbiz
Theatrical Release
Essential Cinema

 
Movie Reviews

More Details

Synopsis:
This all-star cast, including Charlton Heston, Dorothy Lamour, and James Stewart, celebrates the extravagant three-ring circus and depicts the passionate scenes of love and jealousy behind the greatest show on Earth.

Notes:
Theatrical release: January 10, 1952. Produced in cooperation with Ringling Bros.-Barnum and Bailey Circus. John Ringling North, the president of Ringling Bros., served as technical director, as well as appearing in the film and cowriting a song. Cecil B. DeMille, a notorious stickler for detail and realism, forced his actors and actresses to learn the various circus stunts they performed. The film includes cameo appearances by Bing Crosby and Bob Hope as audience spectators. Legendary clown Emmett Kelley appears as himself. Jimmy Stewart and Betty Hutton sing and jump (on a trampoline) to the musical number "Be a Jumpin' Jack!" written by Victor Young and Ned Washington.

Reviews:
"Cecil B. De Mille and Technicolor meet the Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Circus in the year's Oscar winner and slam-dunk box office champ..." - 04/09/2004 USA Today, p.10E

 
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