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The Greatest Show On Earth (Full Screen Bilingual Edition)


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Product Details

  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001BPRNI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,055 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roy Jaruk on May 4 2004
Format: DVD
As a circus buff, I can't imagine anybody BUT C.B. De Mille having the scope of vision to do justice to a show deliberately created to be so big that one person simply can't take it all in, and the stories and subplots that abound under the biggest of the Big Tops. That said, I do have to wonder what on earth the Academy was thinking when they voted TGSOE the Oscar as Best Picture of 1952. That year saw the release of High Noon, Ivanhoe, The Quiet Man and Singin' In The Rain, any one of which could lay better claim to the title of Best Picture in terms of writing, plot and cinematography. Why did TGSOE win the Oscar?
I believe it is because the film was seen as a "last chance" vote for De Mille; particularly ironic given that C.B. received the Thalberg that year as well, and for the same reason: for creating and producing consistently high-quality movies. De Mille's best work was decades behind him when he filmed the 1951 edition of the Ringling Brothers - Barnum & Bailey Circus. The subplots, purple prose and some of the situations have more in common with the silent cinema spectacles for which De Mille is justly famed than they do with the realities of running a three-ring railroad circus plus midway under canvas on the road for an 8-month season.
One subplot almost derailed the production, in fact. From its beginnings, Ringling Brothers was renowned for running a totally honest show. Considering that at one point Ringling had been nicknamed 'the Sunday-School Show' for its total intolerance of grifters, pickpockets and thieves, the subplot involving a dishonest rival circus owner planting a team of con men on the show to run the midway's games of chance was about as welcome to the circus's management as a skunk at a picnic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barry Howell on Sept. 22 2007
Format: DVD
The 1950's gave us literally hundreds of movies that had no need to rely on the violence or sexual requirements that seem to be the necessities of todays fare.It is indeed one of that era's best,with a cast of Hollywood stars giving us a totally believable story of a big circus's high's and lows.You'll see lots of actual circus performers doing their acts as well as a story that'll hold your interest all the way through.Very well produced and directed,this is a movie the whole family will enjoy.
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Format: DVD
The Oscar-winning 1952 movie is really entertaining on a number of fronts. It is like newer form entertainment, the movie, met the challenge of traditional entertainment--circus. Cecil B Demille took such challenge of describing the circus world and make it into entertaining film. In this film a great deal of special effects as well as lots of techinics now we take it for granted in current movies were used.
TRAPEZE STUNTS
Just watch when the acrobatic perfromer is real actor and look-like stunts. The techinique used in this film can now be the basic of stunts.
EYE MOVEMENTS OF CAMEO ACTOR/ACTRESSES
This is another challenge for Hollywood. How spectators not seeing the real act react as if they did. A number of cameo actors/actresses including child actor/actresses did the job quite well.
ANIMAL ACTOR/ACTRESSES
Well-trained Elephant played a key role in this movie. This movie might prompted using animals as movie actors in the movies afterward.
REALITY/VIRTUAL REALITY
This movie mixes the preparation and performance of real circus and use this scene quite effectively. Mixture of reality with virtual reality is what this movie shines.
SAFETY NET OR NO SAFETY NET?
This is quite a big dabate for a long time. Performers might not like safety net particularly top-artist like Sebastian.
But as a manager safety net is necessary for the lives of performers. This film described this age-long dilenma into drama quite well.
TRAIN CRASH
This is the state-of-the-art SFX techinic at this time. It was several years before THE BRIDGE OVER RIVER KWAI. Creating such scene might be the directors' challenge in 1952.
This movie lifted the art of movies into another height. Though the drama might be a bit soapy and the techinique a bit outdated. This movie still can entertain us.
Recommended for classic movie fans.
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By Mark Norvell on April 21 2004
Format: DVD
For a Best Picture winner, this surely won on the sheer bravado of Cecil B. DeMille. The legendary director provided the real Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey circus and a bounty of stars in colorful roles for this tale of circus life and how "the show must go on" despite trauma and tragedy. Charlton Heston stars as Brad, the control-focused circus manager with an over-bubbly Betty Hutton as a trapeze star, Cornel Wilde (with a French accent) as "the Great Sebastian"-a rival trapeze star, Jimmy Stewart as "Buttons-a clown" who stays in makeup to hide from the police due to a scandal and tragedy of his own, and a gorgeous Gloria Grahame (who was hired when Lucille Ball couldn't do it) as the Elephant Girl---who will be in great danger from her sadistic partner. The Technicolor is awesome as are the gaudy costumes but it's the dialogue that's really colorful---I guess "purple prose" might describe it but even that phrase pales in comparison to what comes out of the actor's mouths. This is VERY ripe melodrama set against a wonderful (and real) circus background and you are treated to some admittedly great sights---particularly an incredible trainwreck. The actor's do their best and there are some wonderful guest stars and cameos like Dorothy Lamour as a circus entertainer, and some real surprises I can't reveal. So for pure Hollywood spectacle and some of the corniest dialogue and situations ever created see "The Greatest Show on Earth" and thank Hollywood for treats like this. And by the way, Gloria Grahame did NOT win Best Supporting Actress for this, she won the same year for "The Bad and the Beautiful".
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