The Greatest Show on Earth Reviews
The circus performances were great, but some just ran on for too long. Especially since such things rarely come across on screen as well as they do in person.
Kind of an underrated drama. I know it won Best Picture, but many call it the worst Best Picture winner ever. I can think of so many others that are so much worse; terrible -- in fact. I can think of at least 20 more Best Picture winners I've seen, that I consider inferior. This is anything but.
Several odd edits. A somewhat perfunctory, but necessary ending. Otherwise, a fantastic presentation of A+ entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less.
Loved the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope cameo!
Plot: Brad is the general manager of the world's largest railroad circus, who comes through a bunch of troubles as he tries to make a large profit from the circus. Firstly his girlfriend, Holly gets out of the center ring when the management hires a world class trapeze named Sebastian who takes a liking to Holly along with many other woman. Secondly, one of the midway concessionaires, Henry is suspected of running crooked games of chance under the employment of a mysterious gangster. And finally, Buttons the Clown appears to be hiding from someone unbeknownst to Brad.
To me, this has the melodrama of Broadway Musical, and the unnecessary length to The Great Ziegfeld and...that's almost it. Most of the time the film is either throwing in all this melodrama between Brad, Holly, Sebastian and some other woman whose name I...am not sure if they even gave her one. But otherwise they're just showing us a circus with pretty much everything you'd see in a circus...except for the Disney mascots that they threw in about halfway in. And that's kind of the majority of just about anything that happens in this film. I mean too the film's credit, it does give the story a kind of decent turn turing around the last half hour. But also to a tiny bit of the film's credit but really to it's failure, the best part of this film is the fact that this film has James Stewart, whose character is a missed opportunity. And I say that for several reasons: 1) He's James Stewart 2) he's a clown with a mysterious past, 3) he's James Stewart 4) he's practically everyone's best friend in the circus 5) he's James Stewart 6) he's funny as a clown 7)...did I mention that he's James Stewart?...aw who cares, I mean IT'S FREAKING JAMES STEWART!!!!!! Buttons the Clown was a very interesting character and the fact that he was played by a star like James Stewart just makes him better, and the fact that they hardly went really into him until around the end is just...fail! But it's not without it's good moments. Sometimes just watching the circus can be really fun with looking at all the tricks with the trapeze and elephants, and Buttons and the other clowns where fairly funny. And again, the turn that they took during the last half hour or so was actually a good way to give the film a climax and resolution...at least for what it's worth.
And that's basically my review for The Greatest Show on Earth. It'll have some points as far goes as just watching a circus and having an okay climax, but otherwise it's way too long, has some melodrama that you just don't really care about from the main characters, and has a missed opportunity with James Stewart as Buttons the Clown. I'm sure it was good during its time, but it just doesn't hold out today.