Synopsis: Mike Ribble was once a great trapeze artist - and the only the sixth to have completed a triple somersault - before his accident. Tino joins the circus, and manages to convince Mike to teach him the 'triple'. Meanwhile Lola, a tumbler, wants to get in on the act.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Carol Reed
Production: Hill-Hecht-Lancaster Productions
  3 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

Ladies and gentlemen - Mike Ribble, the

only man alive today to attempt a triple.

Three complete somersaults before

reaching the arms of his catcher.

Halt! Halt!

You see, Achille, here I am 46 years old,

and suddenly I start to grow.

Before, the lowest bar on the lion's cage

was two inches above my head.

- Now it is only one.

- Maybe they shifted the bar.

- You know a fella named Mike Ribble?

- No.

- Ce n'est pas si mal que a, monsieur.

- O sont les gueules?

- Vous voulez des tigres?

- Et mon nom?

"Monsieur Bouglione".

Chaque anne, il est de plus en plus

minuscule. Refaites-moi cette affiche.

Monsieur Bouglione, you like? Beautiful,

yes? By opening night, magnificent. I...

- What they do, I see. What do you do?

- Me? I show you.





- Parlez Anglais?

- Yeah.

- Do you know Mike Ribble?

- Never heard of him.

Want a snake act? Three of the sweetest

performers that ever circled a torso.

- He's got the build for it, hasn't he?

- He don't look like a snake lover.

- Anybody know Mike Ribble?

- Say hello to the gentleman.

American. A great flier.

You know, the trapeze.

- He's got a job here.

- I knew a man named Gribble.

Did an act with a python of uncertain

temper and extraordinary big jaws.

- Who are you?

- Tino Orsini.

- Guido Orsini your father?

- Yeah.

- Cheap due to unforeseen circumstances.

- That's Ribble.

Above the plane, tightening the rigging.

Baby, wake up. She's a bit sluggish

since her dinner last week.

Mr. Ribble! Say, Mr. Ribble!

You! In my circus, when I

put together a show I have silence.

- I just wanna see Mr. Ribble.

- See him on his time, not mine.

- Monsieur, you said you'd find a buyer.

- I find no buyer.

Everybody knows

the snake killed your brother.

She's high-spirited, that's all. If she's

warm it's safe. My brother let her get cold.

If you did not already have a snake act,

would you buy a snake act?

Now watch. Off the bars,

a double forward twist.

- We do business, monsieur?

- I see these boys work before.

- Where'd they find you?

- They're lucky, no?

- Where you find her?

- We don't find her. She finds us.


I pay you what you got before,

and I check what you got before.

But the Cirque d'Hiver

is more important than where we were.

The Cirque d'Hiver, yes. Your act, no.

- Look, I take the act as it is.

- All right.

Same pay.


- He likes us?

- What did he say?

Come on, say it.

- What's the matter, Lola?

- Whatever he said, say it.

Come on. Speak, Lola.

- Bouglione...

- Yeah?

- He will not buy the act as it is.

- Why?

- He wants me to do more.

- More for you? Already there is too much!

I do not say it's my idea that I do more.

It's Bouglione. He insist.

Otherwise, we don't work.

You're always trying

to do more. It's our act.

Ali, if you feel this way about me,

I will leave the act.

Oh, shut up.

Mr. Ribble? Hey, Mr. Ribble?

Hey, get down out of there

before you fall down.

- But I'm a flier.

- I don't care what you are. Get down.

I came all the way from Brooklyn

to see you. My old man is Guido Orsini.

That buzzard still flyin'?

He taught me all he knew. You're

the only man who can teach me more.

Tell him I'm not a coach. I'm a rigger.

And tell him in person, back in Brooklyn.

- Look, Mr. Ribble...

- Go on, beat it, son. I'm busy.

I want something only you can give me.

You're the only man in the world

that can teach me the triple.

The triple? Are you crazy?

Don't you know why I'm a rigger?

I throw a double somersault.

I need a little help on the third.

- Just a little help on the third, huh?

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James R. Webb

James R. Webb (October 4, 1909 – September 27, 1974) was an American writer. He won an Academy Award in 1963 for How the West Was Won.Webb was born in Denver, Colorado, and graduated from Stanford University in 1930. During the 1930s he worked both as a screenwriter and a fiction writer for a number of national magazines, including Collier's Weekly, Cosmopolitan and the Saturday Evening Post. Webb was commissioned an army officer in June 1942 and became a personal aide to General Lloyd R. Fredendall who was commander of the II Corps (United States). Webb accompanied Fredendall to England in October 1942 and participated in the invasion of North Africa in November 1942 when the Second Corps captured the city of Oran. The Second Corps then attacked eastward into Tunisia. In February 1943 the German army launched a counterattack at Kasserine Pass which repulsed the Second Corps and nearly broke through the Allied lines. The Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower relieved Fredendall of command in March 1943 and sent him back to the United States where he became deputy commander of the Second United States Army at Memphis, Tennessee. Webb returned to the United States with Fredendall and later served in the European Theater. Webb left the Army after the war and returned to Hollywood, California, where he continued his work as a screenwriter. He died on September 27, 1974, and was buried in Los Angeles National Cemetery. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Trapeze" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 25 Jun 2021. <>.

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