The Big Circus (1959)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Victor Mature, in one of his last leading man performances, plays Hank Whirling, the owner of a financially shaky circus who is trying to get back on his feet, despite cutthroat competition from a rival organization. He also has a younger sister (Kathryn Grant) to watch out for. After arranging for a bank loan, he discovers that he's got two new members of "management" to contend with: persnickety bank officer Randy Sherman (Red Buttons), who is put there to safeguard the loan, and press agent … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By: ,
Written By: Irving Wallace, Charles Bennett, Irwin Allen
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 22, 2009
Warner Bros.


as Helen Harrison

as Henry Jasper 'Hank' ...

as Randy Sherman

as Jeannie Whirling

as Hans Hagenfeld

as Aerialist

as Skeeter

as Tommy Gordon

as Mama Colino

as Mr. Lomax

as Jonathan Nelson

as Guest Star
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Big Circus

All Critics (1)

Backstage at the circus, with colorful acts, a look at the business aspects of a circus, and a pioneering feminist heroine.

Full Review… | August 16, 2012
Classic Film and Television

Audience Reviews for The Big Circus


Everything but the kitchen sink is thrown in to this colorful pageant about the struggle for a circus's survival . It's bright but empty however Peter Lorre playing a clown is genius casting.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Low-budget version of DeMille's "The Greatest Show on Earth." Here, future Master-of-Disaster Irwin Allen stages a couple minor disasters, and has one off camera (a train wreck, like in TGSOE). Is it wrong that I wanted to see the train wreck on camera? C'mon, it's Irwin Allen, creator of "The Poseidon Adventure," etc. Oh, well!

The movie's pretty routine, routinely cast, with the exception of Red Buttons, who is very good. Lots of melodrama, but some good circus sequences. And, it's in CinemaScope, unlike TGSOE, which came out a year before the widescreen process.

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