The Greatest Show on Earth Overview:

The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) was a Drama - Family Film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and produced by Cecil B. DeMille and Henry Wilcoxon.

Academy Awards 1952 --- Ceremony Number 25 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best Costume DesignEdith Head, Dorothy Jeakins, Miles WhiteNominated
Best DirectorCecil B. DeMilleNominated
Best Film EditingAnne BauchensNominated
Best PictureCecil B. DeMille, ProducerWon
Best WritingFredric M. Frank, Theodore St. John, Frank CavettWon
.

BlogHub Articles:

The Greatest Show on Earth ( 1952 )

By The Metzinger Sisters on Nov 19, 2016 From Silver Scenes - A Blog for Classic Film Lovers

For Cecil B. DeMille there was no such thing as a regular feature film...it always had to be a spectacle. Circus films were a dime a dozen in the 1930s, but none of them really captured that thrill of seeing a circus in person. A circus was meant to be a spectacle, and the circus itself had to tak... Read full article


The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

By Beatrice on Sep 16, 2015 From Flickers in Time

The Greatest Show on Earth Directed by Cecil B. De Mille Written by Written by Fredric M. Frank, Barr? Lyndon, and Theodore St. John; story by Frank, St. John, and Frank Cavett 1952/USA Paramount Pictures First viewing/Netflix rental I will cut this movie some slack for the circus acts and Jimmy ... Read full article


Classic Films in Focus: THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (1952)

By Jennifer Garlen on Sep 21, 2012 From Virtual Virago

Critics often deride The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) as one of the worst Best Picture winners in Oscar history, but Cecil B. DeMille’s elaborate circus spectacle deserves a better reputation among classic movie fans. Yes, High Noon is the better film, but the blame for choosing the safer pic... Read full article


Classic Films in Focus: THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (1952)

By Jennifer Garlen on Sep 21, 2012 From Virtual Virago

Critics often deride The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) as one of the worst Best Picture winners in Oscar history, but Cecil B. DeMille’s elaborate circus spectacle deserves a better reputation among classic movie fans. Yes, High Noon is the better film, but the blame for choosing the safer pic... Read full article


Classic Films in Focus: THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (1952)

By Jennifer Garlen on Sep 21, 2012 From Virtual Virago

Critics often deride The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) as one of the worst Best Picture winners in Oscar history, but Cecil B. DeMille’s elaborate circus spectacle deserves a better reputation among classic movie fans. Yes, High Noon is the better film, but the blame for choosing the safer pic... Read full article


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Quotes from

Buttons: Clowns are funny people, they only love once.
Holly: All men aren't that way, even if they act like clowns.


Klaus: Your legs are too thin, your hair is too red, you have lips like a cat. You're no good. You give me too much trouble.
Angel: Flattery rolls right off me.


[Holly and Sebastian are one-upping each other on the trapeze]
Buttons: How long do you think this can go on before something happens?
Brad Braden: It's circus, isn't it?
Buttons: Do you believe in prayer?
Brad Braden: And practice.


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Facts about

Charlton Heston was driving through Paramount Studios when he spotted Cecil B. DeMille, who he had never met. Heston waved. DeMille was so impressed by Heston's wave he made inquiries that ultimately led to Heston being cast as Brad in this film. This was only Heston's third film and skyrocketed him to fame. One fan wrote a letter to DeMille on how much she enjoyed the movie and commented, "And I'm surprised how well the circus manager (Heston) worked with the real actors." Heston thought it was one of the best reviews he ever received.
Scenes of this motion picture were filmed at the actual winter quarters of the Ringling Bros.-Barnum & Bailey Circus in Sarasota, Florida. Additional scenes were also filmed at an actual circus performance in which the film's actors participated in the Grand Hippodrome Parade with the regular circus performers. If you look very closely at the bottom left-hand portion of the screen during a brief long-shot of the Grand Parade, you can see Cecil B. DeMille's camera unit in a corner of the Hippodrome where the parade takes a turn around the ring, along with Mr. DeMille himself standing next to the camera.
During the film's spectacular set piece sequence of the train wreck, the Paramount sound Stage 16 was filled with animals running around loose. The greatest problem occurred when the large cage of monkeys was opened. The simians were so frightened of the lions and tigers that they panicked and fled the building, ending up in the adjoining Hollywood Cemetary. According to Cecil B. DeMille biographer Charles Higham, it proved almost impossible to retrieve them.
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