The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on Earth

Cecil B DeMille (1952)

U Certificate


Our Score
This epic drama is, perhaps, not as great as its title would have us believe, though it did earn director Cecil B DeMille a best picture Oscar. On display is a jumbo-sized package of all the clichés that money can buy, as circus owner Charlton Heston strives to control the untamed emotions of Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde and Gloria Grahame. James Stewart gives the most original performance, playing a clown who, for reasons too complicated to explain, never takes off his make-up. As usual, DeMille megaphones his direction to let us know where we've been, where we are and where we're going, but this is marvellous entertainment, nevertheless.


A circus owner hires a celebrated trapeze artist to perform with his girlfriend as the star attraction - leading to bitter rivalry in the air and sexual tension on the ground. Meanwhile, a clown tries to keep his past a secret, and racketeers prepare to muscle in on the concessions. Cecil B DeMille's Oscar-winning drama, starring Charlton Heston, Cornel Wilde, Betty Hutton and James Stewart.

Cast & Crew

Brad Charlton Heston
Buttons, a clown James Stewart
Holly Betty Hutton
Phyllis Dorothy Lamour
Sebastian Cornel Wilde
Angel Gloria Grahame
Klaus Lyle Bettger
Henderson Lawrence Tierney
Detective Henry Wilcoxon
Harry John Kellogg
Jack Steelman, assistant manager John Ridgely
Circus doctor Frank Wilcox
Ringmaster Bob Carson
Buttons's mother Lillian Albertson
Birdie Julia Faye
Ann Gloria Drew
Tony Anthony Marsh
Bruce Bruce Cameron
Noel Noel Neill
Charmienne Charmienne Harker
Dorothy Dorothy Crider
Patricia Patricia Michon
Vicki Vicki Bakken
Gay Gay McEldowney
Hugh Hugh Prosser
Rus Rus Conklin
Jack John Crawford
Claude Claude Dunkin
Keith Keith Richards (1)
Rosemary Rosemary Dvorak
Lorna Lorna Jordan
Mona Mona Knox
Gertrude Gertrude Messinger
Spectator Bob Hope
Spectator Bing Crosby
Midway barker Edmond O'Brien
Emmett Emmett Kelly
Spectator Nancy Gates
Hopalong Cassidy William Boyd (1)
Narrator Cecil B DeMille
Director Cecil B DeMille
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Paramount Film Service LtdAvailable on: video and DVD