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Greatest Show on Earth, The | 1952 | Charlton Heston, Betty Hutton


Greatest Show on Earth, The | 1952 | Charlton Heston, Betty Hutton

A great big lumpen mass of a movie that won a couple of Oscars (including one for Best Picture) and is studded with stars, but ultimately collapses under the weight of the clichés it carries round with it. Heston is the tough-talking square-jawed circus boss; Stewart is the mysterious clown whose make-up hides a terrible secret; Hutton and Lamour provide the sex appeal; and when you throw in a train wreck complete with marauding elephants and prowling pussycats, you’ve got about as much spectacle as any film needs. It’s overblown, unconvincing melodrama and may leave you wishing for some sawdust to spit into.

Charlton Heston as Brad Braden
Betty Hutton as Holly
Cornel Wilde as The Great Sebastian
Gloria Grahame as Angel
James Stewart as Buttons
Lyle Bettger as Klaus
Dorothy Lamour as Phyllis
Robert Carson as The Ringmaster
John Kellogg as Harry
Lawrence Tierney as Mr. Henderson
Julia Faye as Birdie
Cecil B. DeMille as Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
John Ringling North as Himself
Emmett Kelly as Himself
Lou Jacobs as Himself (clown)
Brad Jackson as Reporter at RIngside
Frank Wilcox as Doctor
Henry Wilcoxon as FBI Agent Gregory
Lillian Albertson as Buttons’ mother
Milton Kibbee as Picked-pocket Customer
Davison Clark as Sam, game customer
Dorothy Adams as Sam’s Wife (uncredited)
Arthur Q. Bryan as Ice-Cream Eating Spectator
Bess Flowers as Spectator (uncredited)
Bing Crosby as Spectator (uncredited)
Bob Hope as Spectator (uncredited)
Mona Freeman as Spectator (uncredited)
Kathleen Freeman as Spectator (uncredited)
William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy (uncredited)
Beverly Washburn as Little Girl Spectator (uncredited)
Lee Aaker as Little Boy Spectator (uncredited)
Erville Alderson as Spectator (uncredited)
Oliver Blake as Spectator (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum as Spectator (uncredited)
Nancy Gates as Spectator
Bob Crosby as Spectator
John Ridgely as Assistant Manager
Lane Chandler as Dave (uncredited)
Edmond O’Brien as Midway Barker at End (uncredited)
Eric Alden as Canvas Man (uncredited)
Noel Neill as Noel (uncredited)
Syd Saylor as Circus Barker (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton as Ambulance Driver (uncredited)
Daisy Earles as Midget
Luce Potter as Midget
Angelo Rossitto as Dwarf
Director: Cecil B. DeMille
USA | 152 minutes | 1952

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