- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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The Small Top
- Philip F Clark
This was so hard to watch without cringing most of the time. Awful script, sad use of some great actors (poor Peter Lorre), and an ending I could see from a mile away. Want a great circus film? Watch the much better 'The Greatest Show on Earth,' with Charlton Heston and Betty Hutton, and a superb performance by James Stewart as an on-the-lam accused murder. Far and away a better film, with edge-of-your-seat drama and a train wreck that is worthy of Barnum & Bailey. This was not the Big Top in any way.
Not a review, but a question
Not writing a review. A question??What kind of car is Hank Whirling driving???
THE BIG CIRCUS
- Roy H. Wagner ASC
One thing you can say about Irwin Allen, he always hired top production talent below the line. He used MGMs top department heads and Winton Hoch, producers be of the top Technicolor cameramen. I'm his number as photographed in an era when lots of light was required. The images in CinemaScope are incredibly good, not dark or underexposed in spite of very slow film stocks and lenses that demanded a lot of light. Victor Mature is very likable and a Red Buttons doesn't chew up all the scenery. Beautiful Rhonda Fleming and Bing Crosby's wife, Kathryn Grant are fantastic. I love the theme song written I think by Paul Sawtell who had a long career at American International. The worst is the blue screen tightrope walk across Niagra Falls. The technology just could not support that gag. Very well worth watching! I loved it as a kid in CinemaScope and Stereophonic sound!
- kevin sellers
The bland, generic title says it all. Aside from the offbeat casting of David Nelson as the psycho (a modern day equivalent would be Hillary Duff playing a satanist) and Vicent Price/Peter Lorre as good guys, there is nothing that stands out in this film, other than the crappy acting, from such masters of the form as Victor Mature, Rhonda Fleming (a poor man's Maureen O'Hara, and O'Hara's fairly mediocre) Kathryn Grant, and Gilbert Roland as well as the cheesy special effects (It's official. That's the fakest Niagra Falls scene ever seen) and the forgettable dialogue from the always banal Irving Wallace, among others. So, while this film is of historical interest as Irwin Allen's first timid foray into the disaster genre (it's got a flood, a fire, a train wreck and a runaway lion) it gets a solid C.
Very Entertaining Film!
- Raymond Banacki
Very enjoyable entertainment package, full of surprises, but, the best of all, was David Nelson as the criminally insane Tommy Gordon.
The Big Circus
- Bruce Reber
"The Big Circus" (1959) is a fine film from bargain-basement studio Allied Artists, which mostly produced low-budget crime dramas in black & white, of which the most famous is "Al Capone" starring Rod Steiger and one of my all-time favorite gangster films. TBC is a very lavish production in color, widescreen and with a spectacular cast featuring Victor Mature, Rhonda Fleming, Peter Lorre, Vincent Price, Gilbert Roland, Red Buttons, David Nelson and Kathryn Grant. The producer and screenwriter of TBC is Irwin Allen, who would produce the TV sci-fi shows "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" and "Lost In Space" in the 60's, and the blockbuster films "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972) and "The Towering Inferno" (1974), earning him the name "The Master of Disaster". TBC's almost as good as C.B. DeMille's circus classic "The Greatest Show On Earth" (1952). Please show it again soon TCM. I saw only the first 5 minutes and the last hour of TBC when it aired on Sunday night 6/24/12.
The Big Circus
Thank you so much. I have waited since I was a little girl over 40 years ago to finally see this movie again. I have written and written, asking why the movie has never been shown.Now it is finally out on DVD. Thank you for hearing me for so many years.The Big Circus is an excellent movie EXCELLENT!!!!!!
The Big Circus
This a very good film that doesn't get a lot of publicity. I've seen it countless times on Sunday afternoons in the old days before cable. Pick it up..you'll enjoy the acting of Victor Mature, one of the old greats that doesn't get a lot of credit.
My 25-year wait is over!
- Dick Redman
Finally! I have searched for any kind of a copy of this movie for years. It has been since the 1980s that I have even seen it on television. What a great film, with both Peter Lore and David Nelson acting against type. Everyone does a superb job in their roles, and while it may not be the best circus film ever presented, it's got something for everyone. As a car-Buff, I even loved seeing Hank's Chrysler parade car from the late 50s. When was the last time (if ever) you saw one of those? Interestingly, I had read that one of the reasons the movie was never released was because of Gilbert Roland's scene walking across Niagara Falls on a wire. What, was this supposed to lure hapless fools into trying it themselves? Anyway, for whatever the reason, the wait was worth it!
- luz Rivera
I just love this movie and I would like TCM to show it on tv. It has been many, many years when I first saw this movie. I believe that the viewers would enjoy it. The movie has a lot of know actors.
great circus movie
The first time I saw this movie was withmy mother in 1959 at one of the great movie housesdowntown LA she loved the circus so muchand her favorite star in the movie wasvictor mature, beside the great curcus the movie had you on the edge of your seat, because it is also a "who done it"and has a great surprise ending. I would love for my children to see this, my mom got to go to the ringling brothers circusin 1989 before she passed away and takenmy grandchildren. Great movie and stars.hope to see soon on tcm, my favorite channel
THE BIG CIRCUS
This was one of the best circus movie and should be released to the public to enjoy.
One Great Circus Movie
- Paul Bobe'
This Circus movie will bring back the child in you. It will make you remember all the little things about your childhood. It a classic. With a cast of greats like Victor Mature, Gilbert Roland, Randa Fleming, Vincent Price. It can't be anything but a classic. Please vote to get this movie available on DVD. You won't be sorry
The Best Circus Movie Ever
- Peter McGarvey
The Big Circus never takes itself seriously. It is a mixture of mystery, high adventure (tight rope walking across Niagara Falls) and comedy (Red Buttons and Peter Lorre.C.B. DeMille's Greatest Show on Earth may have unjustly won Oscars but The Big Circus is far more entertaining.If you would like to see the Big Circus on DVD please come to my blog http://www.gapopensource.com and express your views
as a big circus fan since i saw my first ringling bros at age 5 . vincent price & peter lorre refreshing not in really serious roles. more comedic at least for peter lorre.
A Great Family Movie
- MIKE MARTIN
One of my all time favorites from my childhood. I great cast and a great plot. A circus owner fighting all the odds to stay in business. My favorite scene is Gilbert Roland wire walking across Niagra Falls.