Circus World

Overview

Filmed in Cinerama and Technicolor, Circus World may have drawn the crowds for various reasons -- not the least, perhaps, for the big names. John Wayne stars as circus owner Matt Masters, who takes his show to Europe hoping to save it from financial ruin. Accompanying Matt, is young Toni (Claudia Cardinale), whom Matt had raised since her aerialist mother Lili (Rita Hayworth) left them years before. Just before he departs from New York, Matt is reminded that Lili may be somewhere in Germany. Upon their arrival in...
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John Wayne, Claudia Cardinale, Rita Hayworth, Lloyd Nolan, Richard Conte DVD Run time: 132 mins. Originally released: 1964. Language: English.

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Overview

Filmed in Cinerama and Technicolor, Circus World may have drawn the crowds for various reasons -- not the least, perhaps, for the big names. John Wayne stars as circus owner Matt Masters, who takes his show to Europe hoping to save it from financial ruin. Accompanying Matt, is young Toni (Claudia Cardinale), whom Matt had raised since her aerialist mother Lili (Rita Hayworth) left them years before. Just before he departs from New York, Matt is reminded that Lili may be somewhere in Germany. Upon their arrival in Europe, much of the equipment is lost when their ship sinks in a Spanish port. Matt doesn't let that get the best of them, and he is soon up and running with the show, becoming a hit throughout Europe. Against Matt's wishes, Toni trains to become an aerialist like her mother. A quiet figure in the shadows proudly watches Toni rehearse her daring routines. The writing team of Ben Hecht, James Edward Grant and Julian Halevy adapted their screenplay from a story by Philip Yordan and Nicholas Ray. Though this was not a gunslinger role for Wayne, Matt Master was not a far stretch. This could have been due to the fact that Wayne had previously worked on several projects with director Henry Hathaway and writers Hecht and Grant -- and the part was altered to suit him.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
There's as much schmaltz and soap as there is sawdust in Circus World, a film that was unfavorably compared to The Greatest Show on Earth when originally released. In fact, World is almost as entertaining as Show, even if it lacks the same degree of visual splendor that Cecil B. De Mille brought to the latter. If director Henry Hathaway is not quite De Mille's equal, he still knows his way around an epic, and World is filled with spectacular moments, especially when viewed on the big screen. Hathaway lavished a great deal of care and attention of the two most notable sequences, the capsizing of the ship and the tent fire, and the results are breathtaking. He also handles his cast well. John Wayne's performance reveals no new depths, but he's effective and does what is called for, and Rita Hayworth turns in a moving and well modulated performance; her "reunion" scene after she has "washed her face" is especially good. The script never rises above the level of soap opera, but it provides a very workable frame upon which to hang the spectacle, and the production values are impressive. As usual, Dimitri Tiomkin's exciting score helps to effectively intensify the theatrics.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/25/1931
  • UPC: 786936147827
  • Original Release: 1964
  • Rating:

  • Source: Walt Disney Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Wayne Matt Masters
Claudia Cardinale Toni Alfredo
Rita Hayworth Lilli Alfredo
Lloyd Nolan Cap Carson
Richard Conte Aldo Alfredo
John Smith Steve McCabe
Henri Dantes Emile Schuman
Wanda Rotha Mrs. Schuman
Katharyna Giovanna
Kay Walsh Flo Hunt
Margaret MacGrath Anna Hunt
Katherine Ellison Molly
Miles Malleson Billy Hennigan
Katherine Kath Hilda
Moustache Bartender
Bob Cunningham
George Tyne Madrid bartender
Technical Credits
Henry Hathaway Director
Ben Hecht Screenwriter
Samuel Bronston Producer
John F. de Cuir Jr. Art Director
John De Cuir Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
James Edward Grant Screenwriter
Julian Halevy Screenwriter
Jack Hildyard Cinematographer
Renie Costumes/Costume Designer
Claude Renoir Cinematographer
Dorothy Spencer Editor
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer
Ned Washington Songwriter
Michael Waszynski Executive Producer
Alex C. Weldon Special Effects
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