The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on Earth
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Rating 4.2
74 ratings
Movie on IMDb
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Closed captioning available
  • Run Time: 2 hours, 32 minutes
  • Video: Color
  • Released:
  • Originally Released: 1952
  • Label: Paramount
  • Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
  • Audio:
    • Dolby Digital Mono - English
    • Dolby Digital Mono - French
  • Interactive Features:
    • Scene Access
    • Interactive Menus

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Performer: , , , , , , , &
Directed by
Edited by
Screenwriting by , &
Composition by
Cinematography by
Art Direction by
Story by , &
Produced by
Director of Photography: &

Major Awards:

Academy Awards 1952 - Best Motion Picture Story: Fredric M. Frank & Theodore St. John
Academy Awards 1952 - Best Picture

Entertainment Reviews:

USA Today - 04/09/2004
"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..."

Description by

Step right up for Cecil B. DeMille's spectacular, Academy Award-winning Best Picture - The Greatest Show on Earth. The master showman brings the thrills, chills and exhilaration of the Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Circus to the screen via an Oscar-winning story and an all-star cast that includes Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, Dorothy Lamour, Gloria Grahame, James Stewart and Lyle Bettger - plus a few surprises! It's action, romance, laughs and treachery all under the big top, culminating in an incredible train disaster that threatens the very lives and livelihood of the traveling troupe. Grab a bag of popcorn, take a ringside seat and get ready to experience the excitement and drama of The Greatest Show on Earth!

Product Description:

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.

Plot 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.


Production 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.

Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating: Rating 4.2
Based on 74 ratings.
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Product Info:

  • Sales Rank: 68,846
  • UPC: 097360661743
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item