Recipient of two Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth stars Betty Hutton, Charlton Heston, and Jimmy Stewart as three characters whose lives intersect against the backdrop of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The 1952 film is presented in full-screen on this DVD, which also includes both the original English and dubbed-French soundtracks in Dolby Digital Mono. Optional English subtitles are included for the hearing impaired.
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Closed Caption; Full-screen format; English subtitles; Dolby Digital: English Mono, French Mono
Side #1 -- 1. The Circus 2. Full Season 3. Peanuts and Potatoes 4. The Great Sebastian 5. On the Road 6. Working Without Nets 7. Backstage Banter 8. Parade of Stars 9. The Drama Never Stops 10. On the Ground 11. Trouble 12. One Rotten Apple 13. Safety First 14. When Things Go Wrong 15. Smashed and Tied 16. Playing Noble 17. The Thing He Loved 18. In for Trouble 19. A Clown's Opinion 20. Collision 21. Don't Let Him Die 22. The Pied Piper 23. Come Again, Folks
The Greatest Show on Earth 4.3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
As a child, I loved the Greatest Show on Earth. First time I'd seen Charlton Heston. Went back and saw the film several times. Loved Betty Hutton in that, as well as her performance in
Anne Get Your Gun. Especially remembered scene when elephant trainer had elephant hold its huge food over Gloria's head.
More than 1 year ago
Much of this film holds up very well. It is not the great film that Cecil B. Demille was trying to make, but a lot of it is beautiful and a lot is effective and moving.
Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Gloria Graham and James Stewart are excellent. Hutton should have received an academy award nomination as she is absolutely convincing as a trapeze artist. Wilde plays a wonderfully amusing arrogant French trapeze artist. Gloria Graham as a cynical elephant trainer and James Stewart, hiding under clown make-up for almost the entire movie, are quite moving in roles that could easily have been cliches.
On the other hand, Charlton Heston's screen debut is rather inauspicious. He looks like a male model, overacts (probably taking too much direction from Demille) and lacks emotional range. Dorothy Lamour is sadly wasted in a bit part. After starring in three films in 1949 that did not do well, her terrific career went into a death spiral. This film did not help.
The main plot involves a love quadrangle with Hutton, Graham, Heston and Wilde. This is complex and involving. Two subplots involving competition between Hutton and Wilde for star billing and Stewart trying to escape his past work very well too. A fourth subplot concerning a robbery is childish and almost ruins the picture.
The movie won an Oscar for best picture of 1952. It was not a great year for films, but "Singing in The Rain" and "High Noon" both should have beaten it. It was also the highest grossing movie at the box office that year.
The movie attempts to show a time when the circus was "the Greatest Show on Earth". It actually succeeds in this rather well. The acts are quite entertaining and they add enough "wow" to make this a near great film. It may not be the greatest show on Earth, but this film is one of the good films of the 1950's.
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