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 Post subject: The Greatest Show on Earth
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:07 am 
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Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille
Production year: 1952
Starring: Charlton Heston, James Stewart, Betty Hutton


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Plot:

To ensure a full profitable season, circus manager Brad Braden engages The Great Sebastian, though this moves his girlfriend Holly from her hard-won center trapeze spot. Holly and Sebastian begin a dangerous one-upmanship duel in the ring, while he pursues her on the ground. Subplots involve the secret past of Buttons the Clown and the efforts of racketeers to move in on the game concessions. Let the show begin!

Trailer:


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 Post subject: Re: The Greatest Show on Earth
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:26 am 
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El Cid
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This movie always gets a bad ride by the critics but I absloutely love it. De Mille was one of my favourite directors - he certainly knew what the public wanted - they turned out in droves to watch his movies. Spielberg loved this movie as well, and there are elements of Indiana Jones in there - can you spot them?


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 Post subject: Re: The Greatest Show on Earth
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:59 pm 
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Yeah, this movie often takes a beating and is regarded by some to be the worst movie ever to win the Best Picture Oscar. There have been several movies since this one that has won the same award and is more deserved of that title. This movie is pretty epic, and would be damn near impossible to make today!

I was really entertained throughout the movie, it felt like I had just been at a circus when it was over.

I read that this was Spielberg's very first moviegoing experience, and that Heston with his hat made quite an impact on him.

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 Post subject: Re: The Greatest Show on Earth
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:31 pm 
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I too enjoy this movie very much. It almost was like being behind the scenes at the circus. It has almost a documentary feel about it especially with voice over narration.

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 Post subject: Re: The Greatest Show on Earth
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:34 pm 
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Indeed, it's like you've been taken on a tour. You get to see some of the acts and the people who make those incredible acts.

Also, I must say that I love James Stewart in this movie. His character Buttons is one of my favorite characters in the movie. Apparently, when James Stewart heard that DeMille was making a movie about a circus, he personally asked if he could be a clown in the movie. He didn't care about the billing or not being the star, despite the fact that he was a big star at that time. He just wanted to be in it.

Great man, that Jimmy.

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 Post subject: Re: The Greatest Show on Earth
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:07 pm 
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James Stewart's character, the doctor on the run after murdering his wife, was later the basis for THE FUGITIVE according to some folk on the net.


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 Post subject: The Greatest Show on Earth ; a review
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:35 pm 
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The Times. Thursday February 14, 1952
Plaza Cinema
MR. DE MILLE'S FILM OF CIRCUS LIFE

"As swans go double down a river, so do films come drifting down our lives", slightly to amend the words of Hassan, and no sooner has Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presented a long, spectacular, Technicolor epic with lions let loose in Roman circuses than Paramount pops up with THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, an even larger, more spectacular, and, if the phrase be allowed, more Technicolor epic which has as its climax lions in a modern circus let loose after a railway accident. Not, to be fair, that lions play the lead in THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH as they did in QUO VADIS, for in the film under review they and their fellow animals are subordinate to the humans, to the trapeze artists, to the clowns, to the noise, confusion, vulgarity, showmanship, artistry, spectacle, and discipline which make up the present-day, as distinct from the Roman, circus. At times, however, it is difficult to distinguish between those instincts for cruelty and for horrors in human nature - and the cinema - which in one age approve of lions eating Christians and, in another, await the fatal mistake which the men and the women high up in the roof of the Big Top may make and which, if it is made, will set off that shrieking hysteria which conceals gratification.
But perhaps this is to misrepresent the jolly, childish spirit the circus likes to think it embodies even while it knows the sweat and tears necessary to keep the Big Top moving from town to town. Perhaps animals really do like doing tricks which seem foreign to their nature, perhaps it is superficial to find the make-up of the clowns repulsive, and perhaps Mr. Cecil B. DeMille, who speaks personally in the trailer to THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, is justified when he asserts that he produced the film to spread light and laughter throughout a shadowed world. Certainly he packs it full of noise and colour and movement, and certainly he makes exciting and convincing the contest, carried out in a mingling of rivalry and infatuation, between two famous trapeze artists, represented by Miss Betty Hutton and Mr. Cornel Wilde, while Mr. Charlton Heston gives to the part of the manager an authority which makes it not only plausible that he should control so complex an organisation as a circus combining the assets of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey but which does much in itself to explain how complex the organisation is. Mr. James Stewart remains throughout disguised in the make-up of a clown, and so is hardly Mr. Stewart at all, and curious it is that, in spite of all the scenes, blaringly, glaringly effective - with the big drum working away with a will - which belong specifically to the sawdust ring, both Mr. De Mille and THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH are most themselves in the scene of the railway disaster.
The film goes to the Plaza Cinema on Saturday.


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 Post subject: Re: The Greatest Show on Earth
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:21 am 
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James Byrne wrote:
This movie always gets a bad ride by the critics but I absloutely love it. De Mille was one of my favourite directors - he certainly knew what the public wanted - they turned out in droves to watch his movies. Spielberg loved this movie as well, and there are elements of Indiana Jones in there - can you spot them?

Det. Thorn wrote:
I read that this was Spielberg's very first moviegoing experience, and that Heston with his hat made quite an impact on him.

Yep, here is Spielberg saying that very thing:


As for Indiana Jones elements, besides Heston himself and his outfit... I gotta watch the film again.
btw, that scene of the train hitting the automobile (included above) was always intense to watch for me;
I can imagine it was quite an impact on the big theater screen.


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 Post subject: Re: The Greatest Show on Earth
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:12 pm 
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Spielberg happily acknowledges THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH as an inspiration in the Indiana Jones movies but for some reason never mentions SECRET OF THE INCAS at all when he is being interviewed.


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 Post subject: Re: The Greatest Show on Earth
PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:14 pm 
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James Byrne wrote:
Spielberg happily acknowledges THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH as an inspiration in the Indiana Jones movies but for some reason never mentions SECRET OF THE INCAS at all when he is being interviewed.

I wonder why that is? It's obvious that he has taken the liberty of adding a bunch of features from the Steele character, after all.

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