The Greatest Show on Earth

Synopsis: 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!
Genre: Drama, Family, Romance
Director(s): Cecil B. DeMille
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
152 min

We bring you the circus.

The pied piper, whose magic tunes

lead children of all ages, from 6 to 60,

into a tinsel and spun-candy world

of reckless beauty

and mounting laughter, whirling thrills,

the rhythm, excitement and grace

of daring and blaring and dance,

of high-stepping horses

and high-flying stars.

But behind all this,

the circus is a massive machine

whose very life depends on

discipline, motion and speed.

A mechanized army on wheels

that rolls over any obstacle in its path,

that meets calamity again and again,

but always comes up smiling.

A place where disaster and tragedy

stalk the big top,

haunt the backyard

and ride the circus train,

where death is constantly watching

for one frayed rope, one weak link,

or one trace of fear.

A fierce, primitive fighting force

that smashes relentlessly forward

against impossible odds,

that is the circus.

And this is the story

of the biggest of the big tops

and of the men and women who fight

to make it the greatest show on earth.

- Morning, Mr Braden.

- Morning, Nick.

- When's the new hor'se arriving, Brad?

- Tomorrow, Chuck.

Dont rub them thin, Jimmy.

Tho'se bell's are 60 year's old.

Theyve rung in 'some good 'show's.

- Hi.

- Hi, Mr Braden.

How are the kid's?

Oh, ju'st fine, except they were playing

with Randy Concello a few day's ago.

That's nice.

Ye's, but Randy came down

with the mump's thi's morning.

What? No. Any 'sign's?

No, not yet,

but baby gorilla's do get the mump's.

Ill have Higgin's give them

a 'shot of immune 'serum

and double their cod liver oil.

Give them plenty of 'spinach.

You 'stay healthy now, boy, you hear?

Say, i's it true were only gonna play

a 'short 'sea'son thi's year?

Dont believe all you hear.

- See?

- Go back to Mama now.

I told you there wa's nothing to it.

- How's Myrtle?

- Stomach.

Give her 'some gin and ginger.

- Any new's about a full 'sea'son?

- Youll get a full 'sea'son.

Be 'sure Myrtle get's all the gin.

- Same old trouble?

- Yeah. Sore throat. All of it.

Well, get a billiard cue and 'swab it out.

Better feed your bird, Lou.

Hey, Brad, Betty in the cookhou'se 'said

were only gonna play

the big citie's thi's year.

And then clo'se up like a mi'ser's heart.

Well, if theyre giving odd's,

bet a buck for me.

Why the rehear'sal

ju'st for makeup, Brad?

Becau'se you left off your eyela'she's

la'st performance la'st 'sea'son.

Youre gonna need an extra 'shoe

walking back from Kalamazoo.

Im 'suppo'sed to be

looking for you, Brad.

Well, are you 'suppo'sed to find me?

Big bra's's hollering for you up front.

You found me.

Hey, Brad, thi's might help.

Too 'small.

Skim off the cream.

Let the little 'show's 'scramble

for the thin milk.

Dont forget what circu's day mean's

to a 'small town.

John North, youre ju'st

'soft about the circu's.

It's 'suicide to play

thi's whole tour thi's year.

- You gonna tell that to Brad?

- Ye's.

A good circu's bo's's carrie's out order's.

My vote i's 10 week's

and back to Sara'sota.

But for 80 year's...

That order about keeping the ground's

clean goe's for the top bra's's, too.

- Hi, Brad. Im 'sorry about that.

- Good morning.

Ive 'seen happier head's on cane's.

We 'sent for you, Brad, to tell you

weve got to pa's's up

the 'small citie's and town's.

- Time's have changed.

- Kid's havent.

- Price's have.

- Well 'stay in the black.

You hope.

Look, Brad,

here's the tour for thi's 'sea'son.

That's only 10 week's.

Sixty percent of our money come's

from the big citie's in the fir'st 10 week's.

The world's up'side down, Brad.

We cant take the ri'sk...

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Fredric M. Frank

Writer Fredric M. Frank (July 9, 1911 New York City - May 9, 1977 Los Angeles, California) was a favourite scribe of Cecil B. deMille and worked with him on several of his epic productions throughout the 1940s and 1950s including Unconquered, Samson and Delilah, The Greatest Show on Earth for which he won an Academy Award for Best Story, and The Ten Commandments. His last film was El Cid in 1961. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Greatest Show on Earth" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 1 Jul 2022. <>.

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