Spirit of America Bookstore

Circus Film Festival
Page One

color photo of John Lee Iverson, Ringmaster for Ringling Bros. Circus, in the spotlight             brief history

links

short cartoons

silent films

sound films & TV
films & TV - 1940

on page 2
films & TV - 1960
films & TV - 1980
films & TV - 2000


"Do you understand what Bronco Billy and the wild west show are all about? You can be
anything [that] you want. All you have to do is go out and become it!"
— line from Clint Eastwood's 1980 comedy "Bronco Billy"


          B R I E F   H I S T O R Y
          t e x t
          h e r e

As usual, the movies section on The American Circus Page just kept growing,
so this Circus Film Festival Page was split off in May 2013, then halved.

Sections back on the American Circus Page include:
brief historybooksplays, other medialegendary circus people
American circusescircus musiclinks

'circus' entry at Wikipedia
search DVDs & Blu-ray on keyword 'circus' {returns 1,600+ titles} at Amazon

search on keyword 'circus' {returns 1,000+ films} at Internet Movie Database

Cartoon  Shorts

"Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse At The Circus" [I.F.S. March 1916] cartoon short /tt0146448/

"Dud's Greatest Circus On Earth" [1919] cartoon short /tt0146657/

"The Circus" [May 1920] cartoon short /tt0011058/ by Max & Dave Fleischer

Winsor McCay's "Flip's Circus" [1921] animated short /tt0126913/

"Felix Wins Out" Felix the Cat [Jan 1923] animated short /tt0015799/

"Aesop's Fables: Circus Capers" [1930] from Van Beuren Studios

"Boop-Oop-A-Doop" [Jan 1932] cartoon short /tt0022704/ from Fleischer Studios

"The Man On The Flying Trapeze" [March 1934] Popeye cartoon short /tt0025458/ from Fleischer Studios

"Mickey's Circus" [Disney 1936] cartoon short /tt0027960/

"The Lyin' Mouse" [Leon Schlesinger/WB Oct 1937] cartoon short /tt0029177/ directed by Friz Freleng

"Animal Cracker Circus" [Sept 1938] cartoon short /tt0147841/

"Circus Today" [June 1940] cartoon short /tt0032340/ directed by Tex Avery

"Mr. Elephant Goes To Town" [Columbia Oct 1940] animated Color Rhapsody short /tt0148501/

"Terror On The Midway" [Fleischer Aug 1942] Superman cartoon short /tt0035422/

"The Dizzy Acrobat" [May 1943] Woody Woodpecker cartoon short /tt0035812/

"Tops In The Big Top" [March 1945] Popeye cartoon short /tt0153186/

"Hobo Bobo" [Warner Bros May 1947] cartoon short /tt0039466/

"Acrobatty Bunny" [June 1946] Bugs Bunny cartoon short /tt0038286/

"Hobo Bobo" [WB May 1947] cartoon short /tt0039466/

"Inki At The Circus" [June 1947] cartoon short /tt0039493/ directed by Chuck Jones

"Slap Happy Lion" [Sept 1947] cartoon short /tt0039835/ directed by Tex Avery

"Bongo" [Disney Sept 1947] 30-minute cartoon /tt0039207/ story by Sinclair Lewis [1885-1951]

"The Bandmaster" [Dec 1947] Andy Panda cartoon short /tt0146461/

"The Circus Comes To Clown" [Famous Studios/Paramount Dec 1947] sing-along cartoon short /tt0150132/

"The Big Wash" [Disney Feb 1948] cartoon short starring Goofy /tt0040163/

"The Mite Makes Right" [Famous Studios Oct 1948] cartoon short /tt0151600/
Little Tom Thumb runs away to join the circus.

"Wonder Dog" [Disney April 1950] cartoon short /tt0043145/ starring Pluto

"The Merry Circus (Vesely Cirkus)" 11-minute cartoon short [Czechoslovakia 1951] /tt2137445/ Directed by Jirí Trnka

"Big Top Bunny" [1951] Bugs Bunny cartoon short /tt0043341/

"Daredevil Droopy" [March 1951] cartoon short /tt0043450/ directed by Tex Avery

"The Dog Snatcher" [U.P.A. May 1952] Mr. Magoo cartoon short /tt0150357/

"Little Runaway" [1952] Tom & Jerry cartoon short /tt0044843/

"What's Sweepin'" [Jan 1953] Woody Woodpecker cartoon short /tt0153746/

"Jerry and Jumbo" [Feb 1953] Tom & Jerry cartoon short /tt0045934/

"The Mouse and The Lion [Walter Lantz May 1953] animated short /tt0151646/

"Tweety's Circus" [June 1955] cartoon short /tt0048753/

"Life Is A Circus, Charlie Brown" [CBS-TV 1980] 24-minute cartoon TV program /tt0173983/

"Magda" 6-minute stop-motion short [Paramount Home Video Oct 2004] /tt0443108/

Silent  Feature  and  Short  Films

"Day At The Circus" [Edison Mfg. Company 1901]
Directed by Edwin S. Porter, featuring the Great Forepaugh & Sells Bros. combined four-ring circus
under 3 minute (114.3m length) b&w silent short • bare credits at IMDb

"Grand Entrance Into The Hippodrome" silent clip [S. Lubin Jan 1903]
b&w silent short of under one minute (27.4m length) • bare credits at IMDb

"The Circus Boy" silent short [May 1908] /tt1961544/

"The Four Daredevils (De fire djævle)" [Denmark Aug 1911] /tt0001614/

"The Bear Tamer (Bjørnetæmmeren)" feature film [Denmark May 1912] /tt0466434/

"The Circus Girl" silent short [Feature Photoplay Company July 1912] /tt1322284/

"The Circus and The Boy" silent short [1914] /tt0245838/

"The Grate Impeeryul Sirkus" silent short [Selig Polyscope Oct 1914] /tt1227778/

"The Circus Girl's Romance" silent short [June 1915] /tt0312570/

"A Circus Cyclone" silent short [Vogue/Mutual Jan 1917] /tt0007797/ starring Ben Turpin

"Her Circus Knight" silent short
[Triangle/Keystone March 1917]
Her Circus Knight 1917 silent short  "If you were he, would you accept this invitation?" Two-reeler produced by Mack Sennett; directed by Walter Wright; starring Ora Carew, Joseph 'Baldy' Belmont, Dave Anderson, Joseph Callahan, Malcolm St. Clair, Lige Conley, Nick Cogley & Blanche Payson
20"x30" poster from Amazon for $19.95
VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available • credits at IMDb

"The Lure of The Circus" silent 2-reel short [Bison/Universal Sept 1917]
halfsheet poster for 1917 silent short 'The Lure of The Circus'  Film status unknown; written & directed by William B. Pearson;
starring Eileen Sedgwick, Fred Church, Kewpie Morgan &
Doc Crane • credits at IMDb

"The Lure of The Circus" 18-chapter silent serial
[Universal Film Mfg. Company Nov 1918 to March 1919]
glass slide for Eddie Polo 1918-19 serial "The Lure of The Circus"  
poster for Chapter 2 of the 1918-19 serial "The Lure of The Circus"  
poster for Chapter 7 of the 1918-19 serial "The Lure of The Circus"  The eighteen chapters per se are lost, but were later edited down to a 54-minute feature version, prints of which survive; Chapter Titles: 1. The Big Tent; 2. The Giant's Leap; 3. Beaten Back; 4. The Message On The Cuff; 5. The Lip Reader; 6. The Aerial Disaster; 7. The Charge of The Elephant; 8. The Human Ladder; 9. The Flying Loop; 10. A Shot For Life; 11. The Dagger; 12. A Strange Escape; 13. A Plunge For Life; 14. Flames; 15. The Stolen Record; 16. The Knockout; 17. A Race With Time; and 18. The Last Trick Produced & directed by J.P. McGowan; starring Eddie Polo, Eileen Sedgwick, Molly Malone, Harry Carter, Noble Johnson, Fred Starr, Duke R. Lee, Charles Hill Mailes, James Gordon, Andrew Waldron, Fred Montague, Sydney Deane & Josie Sedgwick
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia
Grapevine Video Double Feature b&w DVD [7/2013] for $14.38
with "Hawk of The Hills" 10-chapter silent Western serial [1927]

"King of The Circus" 18-chapter silent serial
[Universal Film Mfg. Company Nov 1920 to March 1921]
poster for Chapter 5 of the 1920-21 serial "King of The Circus"  Chapter Titles: 1. Bloody Money; 2. The Mushroom Bullet; 3. Stolen Evidence; 4. Facing Death; 5. The Black Wallet; 6. The Lion's Claws; 7. Over The City; 8. Treachery; 9. Dynamite; 10. The Mystic Power (aka The Mystic's Power); 11. Man and Beast; 12. Deep Waters; 13. A Fight For Life; 14. Out of The Clouds; 15. The Woman In Black; 16. The Cradle of Death; 17. The Final Reckoning; and 18. The Lost Heritage Directed by & co-starring J.P. McGowan; starring Eddie Polo, Corrine Porter, Kittoria Beveridge, Harry Madison, Charles Fortune, J.J. Bryson, Dorothy Hagan, Viola Tasma, Tom London, Jay Marchant, Frank Shaw, Bruce Randall & Jack Newton
VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available {this serial is considered lost}
credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

"Pink Tights" [1920] /tt0011575/ starring Gladys Walton

"The Man Tamer" [1921] /tt0012436/ starring Gladys Walton

white poster for 'Circus Heroes' 1921 comedy short  "Percy & Ferdie in Circus Heroes" comedy short [F.F.E.A. May 1921]
Directed by Herman C. Raymaker; starring Sidney 'Sid' Smith & Harry McCoy
20"x30" poster from Amazon for $19.95
DVD/Blu-ray not available • bare credits at IMDb
'Circus Clowns' 1922 silent short film starring Baby Peggy  "Circus Clowns" silent short [Century/Universal Jan 1922]
Two-reeler Century Studios comedy written & directed by Fred Hibbard;
starring Baby Peggy, William Irving & Brownie the Wonder Dog
VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available • bare credits at IMDb

"Sawdust" [1923] /tt0014439/ starring Gladys Walton

"He Who Gets Slapped" [1924] /tt0014972/ co-written & directed by Victor Sjöström, starring Lon Chaney

"Jubilo, Jr." comedy two-reeler [Hal Roach/Pathé June 1924] /tt0235502/
Directed by Robert F. McGowan; scenario by Frank Capra; starring Will Rogers, Mickey Daniels, Charley Chase, Allen 'Farina' Hoskins

"King of The Circus (Der Zirkuskönig)" comedy short [France Jan 1925] starring Max Linder [1883-1925]

"Sally of The Sawdust" silent feature [Aug 1925] /tt0016308/
Directed by D.W. Griffith; based on the hit Broadway play "Poppy"; starring Carol Dempster & W.C. Fields
http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Sawdust-Carol-Dempster/dp/6305211264/
watch full movie [5/2014 upload; 1:53:39] online at YouTube

"The Circus Cyclone" [Universal Blue Streak Oct 1925]
b&w ad for 'The Circus Cyclone' 1925 silent feature  color poster for 'The Circus Cyclone' 1925 silent feature starring Art Acord  Plot details not known. Written & directed by Albert S. Rogell; starring Art Acord, Nancy Deaver, Moe McCrea, Cesare Gravina, Albert J. Smith, Hilliard Karr, George Austin, Gertrude Howard, Jim Corey, Ben Corbett, Rex the Dog & Raven the Wonder Horse
VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available • credits at IMDb

"Jealousy" aka "Varieté" [UFA/Paramount Nov 1925] /tt0016481/

"The Devil's Circus" (M.G.M. Feb 1926) /tt0016783/ starring Norma Shearer

"Bigger Than Barnum's" silent feature
[Robertson-Cole Pictures July 1926]
Bigger Than Barnum's 1926 silent feature  The star aerialist falls ill, so the act is performed by his son; the circus manager decides that working without a safety net will attract bigger crowds, but the son refuses (description suggests melodrama). Presented by Joseph P. Kennedy; directed by & starring Ralph Ince; written by J. Grubb Alexander & Arthur Guy Empey; starring Ralph Lewis, George O'Hara, Viola Dana, Lucille Mendez, Daniel Makarenko, George Holt, William Knight
VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available • credits at IMDb

"The Third Degree" [1926] /tt0017462/ Directed by Michael Curtiz

"The Clown (Klovnen)" 128-minute silent feature [Denmark Oct 1926] /tt0123135/

"Circus Today" [1926] with Billy Bevan & Andy Clyde from Mack Sennett

"Was Ist Los im Zirkus Beely?" [Germany Jan 1927] /tt0341652/ directed by & starring Harry Piel

"The Unknown" silent feature [1927] /tt0018528/ starring Lon Chaney & Joan Crawford

"The Circus"  [United Artists Jan 1928]
won Honorary Oscar 'for versatility and genius in acting, writing, directing and producing "The Circus" '  Chaplin's The Circus video/DVD  The cops at a circus think that the Little Tramp is a pickpocket; Charlie runs into the big tent and his attempts to elude the cops are a big hit with the crowd; but Charlie is unable to be funny on purpose, so the circus owner hires him as a sweeper. Produced, written, directed & edited by and starring Charles Chaplin; co-starring Al Ernest Garcia, Merna Kennedy, Harry Crocker, George Davis, Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford, John Rand & Steve Murphy; won Honorary Oscar
Warner b&w Special Edition DVD [3/2004] 2 disks for $50.12
full credits from IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

"Chaplin Today: The Circus" half-hour TV movie [2003] /tt0406642/

"Circus Rookies" silent feature [M.G.M. March 1928]
Co-written & directed by Edward Sedgwick; starring Karl Dane, George K. Arthur &
Louise Lorraine; Lou Costello worked as an uncredited extra • full credits at IMDb

"Tillie's Punctured Romance" [March 1928] /tt0019478/
The ring master is plotting to get the circus owner done away with in a lion cage so that he can take over.
Directed by A. Edward Sutherland; starring W.C. Fields, Louise Fazenda, Chester Conklin

"4 Devils" [1928] LOST FILM /tt0018907/ Directed by F.W. Murnau; adapted by Berthold Viertel

"Laugh, Clown, Laugh" [M.G.M./Loew's April 1928] /tt0019074/
starring Lon Chaney & Loretta Young; all extant prints are missing reel 4
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laugh,_Clown,_Laugh

"Street Angel" [Fox April 1928] /tt0019429/

"The Circus Kid" [F.B.O. Oct 1928] /tt0018771/ starring Frankie Darro, Poodles Hanneford, Joe E. Brown

"La Venenosa (The Poisonous)" [France Oct 1928] /tt0019527/
2-1/4-hour Spanish production filmed in France; based on the novel "El Caballero Audaz" by José María Carretero

"La Venenosa (The Poisonous)" remake [Mexico Oct 1949] /tt0202056/

"La Venenosa (The Poisonous)" remake [Argentina Oct 1958] /tt0202057/

Sound Feature and Short Films

"Dangerous Curves" [July 1929] /tt0019800/starring Clara Bow & Richard Arlen

"Rain or Shine" [1930] /tt0021282/ directed by Frank Capra
simultaneous domestic & foreign versions (both by Capra), since many theaters were not yet converted to sound-on-film

"The Spell of The Circus" 12-chapter sound serial
[Universal Pictures Jan 1931]
poster for Chapter 1 of the 1931 serial "Spell of the Circus"  The manager of a struggling circus wants to take it over, so he forces himself on the owner's pretty daughter, while she is in love with the star Western rider. Most listings specify twelve chapters; IMDb lists none, Wikipedia lists only ten: Chapter Titles {sic}: 1. A Menacing Monster; 2.The Phantom Shadow; 3. Racing With Death; 4. A Scream of Terror; 5. A Leap For Life; 6. A Fatal Wedding; 7. A Villain Unmasked; 8. The Baited Trap; 9. The Terror Tent; and 10. The Call of The Circus • Directed by Robert F. Hill; starring Ralph Bushman, Alberta Vaughn, Tom London, Walter Shumway, Charles Murphy, Monte Montague & Bobby Nelson
VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available {this serial is considered lost}
credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

"Freaks" [1932] /tt0022913/

"Polly of The Circus" [1932] /tt0023349/ starring Clark Gable & Marion Davies

"The Chimp" [May 1932] comedy short /tt0022759/ starring Laurel & Hardy

"Swing High" [Nov 1932] /tt0152771/ Pete Smith short featuring The Flying Codonas

"Hypnotized" aka "Cirkus Ombord"
[Mack Sennett Comedies Dec 1932]
Swedish poster for 'Hypnotized' aka 'Cirkus Ombord' 1932 comedy feature</  A circus worker wins a sweepstakes and books passage to Europe to claim his prize, but a hypnotist learns of the ticket and uses hypnotism to steal it and then disappears. Co-produced, co-written & directed by Mack Sennett; starring George Moran & Charles Mack (the vaudeville team "The Two Black Crows"), wearing blackface makeup; also starring Ernest Torrence, Charles Murray, Wallace Ford, Maria Alba, Marjorie Beebe, Herman Bing, Alexander Carr, Ben Turpin, Hattie McDaniel & Jackie the Lion
Alpha Home Ent. b&w DVD [1/2011] for $5.99
20"x30" Swedish-language poster [undated] for $19.95 from Amazon third party
full credits at IMDb

"The Constant Woman" [March 1933] /tt0023904/
based on the 1913 stageplay "Recklessness" by Eugene O'Neill

"The Circus Queen Murder" [Columbia April 1933]
The Circus Queen Murder movie poster  Suave District Attorney Thatcher Colt travels upstate with his secretary for a quiet vacation, but then the circus comes to town . . . Directed by Roy William Neill; adapted by Jo Swerling, from the pulp novel by Anthony Abbot; starring Adolphe Menjou, Donald Cook, Greta Nissen, Ruthelma Stevens, Dwight Frye, Harry Holman & George Rosener
VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available • full credits at IMDb
Murder of The Circus Queen mystery novel by Anthony Abbot (Fulton Oursler)  "About The Murder of The Circus Queen" [1931]
by Fulton Oursler (writing as Anthony Abbot)

Popular Library mass pb [1948] out of print/scarce

"The Big Cage" [May 1933] /tt0023807/ starring Clyde Beatty

"King of The Arena" [1933] /tt0024218/ starring Ken Maynard

"I'm No Angel" [1933] /tt0024166/ starring Mae West as a lion tamer

"Red Wagon" [British Intl Pictures 1933] /tt0028164/

"A Modern Hero" [Warner Bros April 1934] /tt0025510/
Directed by G.W. Pabst; based on a novel by Louis Bromfield

"The Circus Clown" [Warner Bros./First National Pictures June 1934]
The Circus Clown 1934 movie starring Joe E. Brown  Circus scenes filmed at the Al G. Barnes Circus in El Monte, California; Brown gets to show off acrobatic skills from his career prior to movies. Plot has young Brown stow away with a circus and get hired as unglamourous animal keeper, then save the day by replacing the drunken partner of the cute aerialist. Directed by Ray Enright; screenplay by Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby; starring Joe E. Brown, Patricia Ellis, Dorothy Burgess, Don Dillaway, Gordon Westcott, Charles C. Wilson, Harry Woods, Ronnie Cosby, John Sheehan, Spencer Charters, Earle Hodgins, clown Poodles Hanneford, Ernest Clark & Alfredo Codona
27"x40" poster from Amazon for $16.95
VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available • full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

"Murder In The Private Car" [M.G.M. June 1934] /tt0024359/
plot involves a kidnapped heiress, a runaway train, several on-board murders, and the wreck of a circus train

"Carnival" [Feb 1935] /tt0026181/

"The Little Big Top" short [Feb 1935] /tt1018742/

"O'Shaughnessy's Boy" [Sept 1935] /tt0026799/

"Tsirk (Circus)" [Russia 1936] /tt0028420/ starring Marion Dixon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circus_(1936_film)

"Charlie Chan At The Circus" [Fox March 1936]
Charlie Chan At The Circus movie poster  On vacation with his wife & twelve children, Honolulu detective Charlie Chan visits a circus just as someone murders one of the owners. Directed by Harry Lachman; starring Warner Oland (as Chan}, Keye Luke, Boothe Howard, Drue Leyton, Maxine Reiner, George & Olive Brasno, Francis Ford, J. Carrol Naish & Shia Jung
b&w DVD available as part of color/b&w DVD available as part of box set Volume 2
11"x17" poster from Amazon for $9.99
full credits from IMDb

"Circus Girl" [Republic Pictures 1937] /tt0028719/ with June Travis & Robert Livingston
http://www.amazon.com/Circus-Girl-June-Travis/dp/B001O4C6SA/

"Equestrian Acrobats" [Aug 1937] /tt0157586/ Pete Smith short featuring the Cristiani Family circus act

"The Shadow" [Dec 1937] /tt0029543/ murder under the Big Top!

"People Who Travel (Les Gens du Voyage)" [France March 1938] /tt0169942/
(Example of Simultaneous Bilingual Film Production: filmed simultaneously in a German language version, "Fahrendes Volk".)

"Under The Big Top" [Monogram Pictures Aug 1938]
Under the Big Top movie of 1938  "High flying adventure!" A beautiful trapeze artist is driven by her domineering aunt; when the girl starts to fall in love with a trapeze partner, the old woman tries to interfere, as does the other partner, who secretly loves the girl. Directed by Karl Brown; written by Marion Orth & Llewellyn Hughes; starring Marjorie Main, Anne Nagel, Jack La Rue, Grant Richards, Fred 'Snowflake' Toones, Betty Compson, George Cleveland, Rolfe Sedan & Harry Harvey
Alpha Home Ent. b&w DVD [9/2006] for $7.98
Reel Classic Films b&w DVD [12/2008] for $9.95
full credits at IMDb

"Peck's Bad Boy With The Circus" [1938] /tt0030565/
http://www.amazon.com/Pecks-Bad-Boy-Circus-ebook/dp/B00AQN1HHQ/

"Clown Princes" comedy short [April 1939] starring the Little Rascals / Our Gang Kids

"Cirkus" [Norway Sept 1939] /tt0031159/ directed by George Schnéevoigt

"The Marx Brothers At The Circus" [M.G.M. 1939] /tt0031060/

"You Can't Cheat An Honest Man" [1939] /tt0032152/ starring W.C. Fields

"Fixer Dugan" [RKO April 1939] /tt0031317/ starring Lee Tracy & Virginia Weidler

"Zenobia" [Hal Roach / United Artists April 1939]
Zenobia feature starring Oliver Hardy  A circus owner asks a country doctor to heal a sick elephant; the animal is so grateful that it follows the doctor everywhere. Directed by Gordon Douglas; starring Oliver Hardy {without Stan Laurel}, Harry Langdon, Billie Burke, Alice Brady, Jean Parker, Stepin Fetchit & Hattie McDaniel
Starz/Anchor Bay b&w VHS [10/97] out of prodn/used
full credits from IMDb

Circus Films & TV - 1940

"Chad Hanna" [Dec 1940] /tt0032321/ directed by Henry King, starring Henry Fonda & Dorothy Lamour

"Road Show" [Hal Roach Feb 1941] /tt0034115/

"The Wagons Roll At Night" [WB April 1941] /tt0034370/ starring Humphrey Bogart

"Dumbo" animated feature  [Disney Oct 1941]
Dumbo  The stork delivers a baby elephant to Mrs. Jumbo at the circus, but the newborn's enormous ears lead to ridicule and the nickname 'Dumbo'; he performs as part of the clown acts until his only friend, a mouse, helps him achieve his full potential. Supervising director Ben Sharpsteen; adapted from a book by Helen Aberson & Harold Perl; voices of Sterling Holloway, Edward Brophy & Verna Felton
Disney 60th Anniv. color VHS [10/2001] for $20.99
Disney 60th Anniv. (Spanish) color VHS [10/2001] for $22.99
Disney 60th Anniv. color DVD [10/2001] for $23.99
Disney Records audio CD [3/2001] for $11.98
full credits from IMDb | play theme music "Dumbo March" [2min:16sec midi file]

Working Minds Philosophy Essay #22 [April 2002] "The Tao of Dumbo"

"Three Little Twirps" [Columbia July 1943] comedy short /tt0036434/ starring The Three Stooges

"Flesh and Fantasy" [Universal 1943] /tt0035885/ 3-part anthology film with all-star cast

"Thousands Cheer" [1943] /tt0036432/ Gene Kelly as acrobat in the Army

"El Circo" [Mexico 1943] starring Cantinflas /tt0034597/

"The Dark Tower" [WB U.K. Oct 1943] /tt0034636/

"Circus Cavalcade (La Cabalgata del Circo)" musical [Argentina May 1945] /tt0037567/

"Bells of Rosarita" (1945) /tt0037535/ starring Roy Rogers & Dale Evans

"Circus Boy" [UK Aug 1947] /tt0168587/

"Caged Fury" [Paramount March 1948] /tt0040196/
Psycho lion tamer uses the big cats to commit murders.

"Love of A Clown, or Pagliacci" [Italy 1948] /tt0039691/
directed by Mario Costa; based on Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera "Pagliacci"; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagliacci_(1948_film)

"Super Circus" family TV series [ABC-TV 1949] /tt0041060/ starring Jerry Colonna

Circus Films & TV - 1950

"Der Tiger Akbar" [Germany 1951] /tt0143940/ Adapted & directed by and starring Harry Piel

"The Circus" aka "Saltimbancos (Highway Robber)" [Portugal Jan 1952] /tt0045116/

"The Greatest Show On Earth" [Paramount Pictures Jan 1952]
won Oscar for Best Picture  won Oscar for Best Story    "The Greatest Show On Earth" 1952 movie by Cecil B. DeMille  
two-sheet poster for "The Greatest Show On Earth" 1952 movie by Cecil B. DeMille  
Filmed in 35mm three-strip Technicolor; the manager of a major 'railroad circus' convinces the owners to allow him to keep the show going as long as it brings in a profit; he hires a star trapeze act, which upsets his trapeze artist girlfriend; other problems include a crooked midway concessionaire, and love triangles & professional jealousy aplenty. The fired crook robs the box office and stages a railroad wreck to cover his tracks, which injures the manager, so the girlfriend rallies the troops and the show goes on . . . Co-produced by Cecil B. DeMille & Henry Wilcoxon; directed by Cecil B. DeMille; written by Frank Cavett, Fredric M. Frank, Jack Gariss, Barré Lyndon & Theodore St. John; original music by Victor Young; starring Charlton Heston, Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Dorothy Lamour, James Stewart, Gloria Grahame, Henry Wilcoxon, Lyle Bettger, Lawrence Tierney, clown Emmett Kelly, circus owner John Ringling North, clown Lou Jacobs & Edmond O'Brien; with cameos by Leon Ames, Oliver Blake, William Boyd (as Hopalong Cassidy}, Bing Crosby, Bob Crosby, Van Heflin, Bob Hope, Noel Neill & Danny Thomas; won Oscars for Best Picture & Best Story, Oscar noms for Best Director, Best Costume Design, Best Editing
Paramount widescreen color DVD [4/2004] 2 disks for $6.99
Paramount color DVD [4/2004] for $8.96
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia
movie-tie-in novelization
Paramount mass pb [1952] out of print/used

"In The Circus Arena" [Russia 1952] /tt0239690/ 2-hours of Russian & Chinese circus acts

"Under The Little Big Top" 10-minute short [April 1953] /tt1512260/

"Keine Angst vor Großen Tieren" [Germany 1953] /tt0045956/

Bergman's "Sawdust & Tinsel" [1953] /tt0045848/
http://www.amazon.com/Sawdust-Tinsel-Harriet-Andersson/dp/B0051WTNGY/

"Lili" [M.G.M. March 1953]
Lili musical movie poster starring Leslie Caron & Mel Ferrer  A French circus troupe adopts a poor girl; she is lonely and confides in some puppets. When she begins singing to the puppets, a crowd gathers and the circus has a new star act. Directed & choreographed by Charles Walters; script by Helen Deutsch, based on the story "Love of Seven Dolls" by Paul Gallico; original music by Bronislau Kaper; starring Leslie Caron, Mel Ferrer, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Zsa Zsa Gabor & Kurt Kasznar; won Oscar for Best Music Score, Oscar nominations for Best Director, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Color Cinematography, Best Set Decoration; won BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress, won WGA Award for Best Musical Script • full credits at IMDb
Warner Archive color DVD [10/2012] for $19.99
M.G.M./Warner color VHS [12/94] out of prodn/used
Film Score Monthly soundtrack CD [3/2006] out of prodn/used
11"x17" poster from Amazon for $3.9927"x40" poster from Amazon for $16.36

"Man On A Tightrope" [Fox April 1953]
Man On A Tightrope circus movie directed by Elia Kazan  Based on the true story of the 1950 escape of the Brumbach Circus from East Germany (some of whom act or perform in the movie); the owner of Circus Cernik in Czechoslovakia is harrassed by state officials; when a slip reveals that there is a spy inside the circus, Cernik realizes that he must get his people into West Germany or forever lose their chance. Directed by Elia Kazan; adapted by Robert E. Sherwood from a story by Neil Paterson; starring Fredric March, Terry Moore, Gloria Grahame, Cameron Mitchell, Adolphe Menjou, Robert Beatty, Alexander D'Arcy, Richard Boone, Pat Henning, Paul Hartman, John Dehner & Gert Fröbe; won Special Prize at Berlin Intl. Film Festival
available on Region 1 DVD & Blu-ray in the giant box set on Magic Lantern's Elia Kazan Page
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

"Cirkus Fandango" [Norway Feb 1954] /tt0046857/

"Circus Girl" aka "Die Gefangene des Maharadscha"
[Germany Feb 1954, USA April 1956] /tt0045804/

"Carnival Story" [R.K.O. Radio Pictures April 1954]
Carnival Story movie poster  "The story of one woman's shame" Filmed in Agfacolor™ in Bavaria, Germany and Vienna, Austria; an American circus in Germany hires a local girl who quickly becomes the source of conflict between the high-dive artist and a carny barker and the strongman. (Example of Simultaneous Bilingual Film Production: filmed simultaneously in a German language version, "Circus of Love"; the German cast can be seen in uncredited cameo appearances in the English-language version, and vice versa.) Co‑written & directed by Kurt Neumann; starring Anne Baxter, Steve Cochran, Lyle Bettger, George Nader, Jay C. Flippen, Ady Berber
V.C.I. Home Video widescreen color DVD [DUE June 2013] for $12.99
Alpha Video widescreen color DVD [11/2004] for $5.99
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

"Fireworks (Feuerwerk)" [Germany Sept 1954] starring Lili Palmer & Romy Schneider

"3 Ring Circus" [Dec 1954] Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin /tt0047582/

"Ring of Fear" [Warner Bros. July 1954]
Ring of Fear 1954 circus movie  Location filming in Deming, New Mexico; made in WarnerColor & widescreen CinemaScope; a former circus employee and homicidal maniac escapes from the asylum and heads to the Clyde Beatty Circus for revenge; he forces the drunken clown to set up acts of sabotage; the circus manager asks Mickey Spillane for help, and he brings in former cop (and inspiration for Mike Hammer) Jack Stang, pretending to be a reporter. Co-written & co-directed by James Edward Grant; co-directed by William A. Wellman; co-written by Paul Fix & Philip MacDonald; starring Clyde Beatty, Mickey Spillane, Pat O'Brien, Sean McClory, Marian Carr, John Bromfield, Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, Emmett Lynn, Jack Stang, Kenneth Tobey, Kathy Cline & Karl Wallenda
Paramount widescreen color DVD [6/2006] for $8.15
full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

"Cirkus Bude (The Circus Is Coming)" [Czech 1955] written & directed by Oldrich Lipský

"King of The Carnival" [June 1955] /tt0048257/
Treasury agents go after a ring of counterfeiters operating out of a traveling carnival.
http://www.amazon.com/King-Carnival-VHS-Harry-Lauter/dp/6303494064/

"Wenn der Vater mit dem Sohne (If The Father With The Son)"
[Constantin Film Germany Aug 1955] /tt0048802/
Starring Pero Alexander, Fita Benkhoff, Waltraut Haas
http://www.amazon.com/Wenn-Vater-mit-dem-Sohne/dp/B001KGDNF2/

"Invitation To The Dance" [M.G.M. May 1956]
Three stories told in dance & mime, written & directed by and starring Gene Kelly: "Circus", "Ring Around The Rosy", and "Sinbad The Sailor";
animation supervised by William Hanna, Joseph Barbera & Fred Quimby • credits at IMDb

"Circus Boy" TV series [Screen Gems TV 1956–1958]
Circus Boy 1956–1958 family TV series  Half-hour b&w Western series, circa 1900; first season (36 episodes) aired on NBC-TV, second season (13 episodes) on ABC-TV; 12-year-old orphan boy taken in by a circus cares for the baby elephant and is friends with the other animals and the adult humans. Starring Micky Dolenz, Noah Beery Jr., Robert Lowery, Bimbo the Elephant & Bimbo Jr., & Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams; guest actors included Andy Clyde, Sterling Holloway, Billy Barty, Grant Withers & Coco Dolenz
VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available • series credits at IMDbseries entry at Wikipedia
Circus Boy Adventure Stories children's book  
The "Circus Boy" TV show was very popular; it was merchandised thru
comic books and a series of 'Tell-A-Tale' children's hardcover story books;
all are scarce, and thus not detailed here

"Trapeze" [1956] Director: Carol Reed, Stars: Burt Lancaster /tt0049875/

"All Star Circus Revue" [March 1957] episode of "The Jackie Gleason Show" /tt1857533/

"Merry Andrew" [April 1958]
starring Danny Kaye, Pier Angeli, Baccaloni, Noel Purcell
http://www.amazon.com/Merry-Andrew-Remaster-Danny-Kaye/dp/B004VUR68O/

"Circus Festival (Arena Druzhby)" [Russia 1959] /tt0051373/

"Big Circus" [1959] with Vincent Price & Peter Lorre
http://www.amazon.com/Big-Circus-Vincent-Price/dp/B002A5BNP4/

"Angelitos del trapecio (Little Angels of The Trapeze)" [Mexico Sept 1959] /tt0271964/
starring comedy team Viruta & Capulina

jump to page two

here on the Circus Film Festival Pages at Spirit of America Bookstore

on page 1: top of pagebrief historylinksshort cartoons
silent filmssound films & TVfilms & TV - 1940

on page 2: films & TV - 1960films & TV - 1980films & TV - 2000


Visit Our Other Online Film Festival Pages
Afro-American Film Festival at Magic Lantern
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Auto-Racing Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
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Beatnik Film Festival at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore
'Biker Movies' Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Boxing Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Spirit of America Bookstore's Circus Film Festival Pages   « « you are here
Classic Movies & Cinema Masters Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Culver City, California Film Festival at Magic Lantern
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Economics Film Festival at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore
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Films Noir Festival at BlackHat Mystery Bookstore
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Human Rights Film Festival at Magic Lantern
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'Knights of Yore' Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Labor Movement Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
Movie Musicals Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Muscle-Head Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Native American Film Festival at 'Readers of the Purple Sage' Bookstore
Oscar-Winning Western Movies Page at 'Readers of the Purple Sage' Bookstore
Philosophy Film Festival at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore
Pirate Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Political Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Railroad Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
'Rat Race' Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Road Movies Film Festival at Magic Lantern
Rock Music Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore
Samurai Films at Magic Lantern
Science Fiction Film Festival at Magic Lantern
'Shakespeare On Film' Festival at Magic Lantern
Sherlock Holmes Film Festival at BlackHat Mystery Bookstore
Sports Film Festival Pages at Magic Lantern
War [& Anti-War] Film Festival Pages at Magic Lantern
Western Movies Film Festival at 'Readers of the Purple Sage' Bookstore

... and others on the Online Film Festivals Index Page


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