Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1950s Greatest Show On Earth, The (1952)

Greatest Show On Earth, The (1952)

With the help of the Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circuses, an all-star cast goes over the top in the big top, directed by the master, Cecil B DeMille.

James Stewart plays Buttons the clown who hides his criminal past beneath several layers of makeup, Cornel Wilde is the daredevil aerialist the Great Sebastian, and Betty Hutton is his rival in the ring and the woman who loves and loses him. Newcomer Charlton Heston is the hard-driving manager, Brad Braden.

There’s a spectacular train crash and surprise (uncredited) appearances by Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.

It’s a long film (two hours and 35 minutes) but it won the Best Film Oscar in 1952.

Holly
Betty Hutton
The Great Sebastian
Cornel Wilde
Brad Braden
Charlton Heston
Phyllis
Dorothy Lamour
Angel
Gloria Grahame
FBI Agent Gregory
Henry Wilcoxon
Klaus
Lyle Bettger
Mr Henderson
Lawrence Tierney
Emmett Kelly
Emmett Kelly
Cucciola
Cucciola
Antoinette Concello
Antoinette Concello
John Ringling North
John Ringling North
Tuffy Genders
Tuffy Genders
Harry
John Kellogg
Assistant Manager
John Ridgely
Circus Doctor
Frank Wilcox
Ringmaster
Robert Carson
Buttons
James Stewart
Buttons’ Mother
Lillian Albertson
Birdie
Julia Faye

Director
Cecil B DeMille