Before the show begins I want to remind you that today is also Insecure Writers Support Group hosted by A to Z co-host Alex J. Cavanaugh. I'm not feeling too insecure this month due to the great success of the 2013 A to Z Challenge. I guess my biggest insecurity is that I won't finish all of my April posts for all of my blogs, but so far so good. For more #IWSG action click here.
Circus in the Cinema
|Circus World (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The films that I'll be listing in my April postings will not necessarily be films that I'd call my favorite films, but they will be favorites in the genres I'll be naming. The A to Z genres are very specific micro genres as opposed to the broader genres like action, romance, or comedy.
Movies about the Circus:
Something you don't see on film as much as you used to are circus movies. Prior to the late 1960's the circus was a common setting for many films. Audiences of those times were still flocking to traveling tent shows and the lifestyle was romanticized in many ways. The idea of running away with the circus was a fantasy shared by many a dreamer of those times.
After all, circus was a true American expression of entertainment. P.T. Barnum brought the circus to life in a big way in the 1800's. Soon tent shows were traveling across the North American continent and the art form was very popular in Europe as well.
Circus was glitz, glamour, and excitement. Exotic animals and unique thrills from an array of performers wowed audiences. The visual nature of the circus made it a natural setting for film. Since the circus was a traveling community it was a microcosm of the world with stories that everyone could relate to.
Since my family was a part time show biz family, we had a love for circus and the movies that depicted circus life. My father would take us to every circus movie that came to the theaters. I still have a love for circus movies, but since few are made these days my favorites go back into the past.
Circus World (1964) --Interesting turn with John Wayne as the owner of a early 20th century circus. The film has many of the typical circus movie cliches such as the big tent fire, but there are a few interesting turns such as the Wild West Show, the American circus touring Europe, and a pretty cool shipwreck sequence.
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) --Nominated for several Oscars, this film won Best Picture at the 1953 Academy Awards ceremony. Big stars, big cast, big story--a fitting tribute to a big circus.
Circus of Horrors (1960) -- One of the best of many horror and crime films with the circus as an integral part of the story.
The Clowns (1970) --One of my favorite directors takes on one of my favorite genres. What else need I say? It's weird, weird, weird. But it's also very good with a unique and interesting message.
There are many, many more--far too many for me to include here.
What circus movies would you include? Which of these have you seen? Do you like going to the circus?