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The Greatest Show on Earth

  • Drama
  • 1952
  • Cecil B DeMille
  • 146 mins
  • U

Summary

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.

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Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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 remains marvellous entertainment.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
BradCharlton Heston
Buttons, a clownJames Stewart
HollyBetty Hutton
PhyllisDorothy Lamour
SebastianCornel Wilde
AngelGloria Grahame
KlausLyle Bettger
HendersonLawrence Tierney
DetectiveHenry Wilcoxon
HarryJohn Kellogg
Jack Steelman, assistant managerJohn Ridgely
Circus doctorFrank Wilcox
RingmasterBob Carson
Buttons's motherLillian Albertson
BirdieJulia Faye
AnnGloria Drew
TonyAnthony Marsh
BruceBruce Cameron
NoelNoel Neill
CharmienneCharmienne Harker
DorothyDorothy Crider
PatriciaPatricia Michon
VickiVicki Bakken
GayGay McEldowney
HughHugh Prosser
RusRus Conklin
JackJohn Crawford
ClaudeClaude Dunkin
KeithKeith Richards (1)
RosemaryRosemary Dvorak
LornaLorna Jordan
MonaMona Knox
GertrudeGertrude Messinger
SpectatorBob Hope
SpectatorBing Crosby
Midway barkerEdmond O'Brien
EmmettEmmett Kelly
SpectatorNancy Gates
Hopalong CassidyWilliam Boyd (1)
NarratorCecil B DeMille

Crew

rolename
DirectorCecil B DeMille

Details

Theatrical distributor
Paramount Film Service Ltd
Language
English
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Colour
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