Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • U
  • Drama, Family
  • 1952
  • 153 mins

The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on Earth


A great big lumpen mass of a movie that won a couple of Oscars (including one for Best Picture) and is studded with stars, but ultimately collapses under the weight of the clichés it carries round with it. Heston is the tough-talking square-jawed circus boss; Stewart is the mysterious clown whose make-up hides a terrible secret; Hutton and Lamour provide the sex appeal; and when you throw in a train wreck complete with marauding elephants and prowling pussycats, you've got about as much spectacle as any film needs.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Betty Hutton, Charlton Heston, James Stewart, Cornel Wilde, Dorothy Lamour, Gloria Grahame
  • Director: Cecil B DeMille
  • Writer: Theodore St John, Barré Lyndon, Fredric M Frank
  • Producer: Cecil B DeMille
  • Photographer: George Barnes, W Wallace Kelley, Peverell Marley

In a nutshell

It's overblown, unconvincing melodrama and may leave you wishing for some sawdust to spit into.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4


    Katell Quillévéré's family-based drama follows Suzanne, a teenage mother who falls for a gangster

  • Film4

    The Purge

    Ethan Hawke stars in James DeMonaco's drama about a sanctioned night where all crime is legal

  • Channel 4 Blog

    BIFA brings 2015 nominated films to cinemas

    BIFA-nominated films including the Film4-backed 45 Years, The Lobster, Macbeth, Amy and Ex Machina will be available in cinemas nationwide from 23 November in a special public screenings event. The

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4-backed films receive 41 nominations at the BIFAs

    Film4 has received a total of 41 nominations for the films it has backed at this year¿s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), with the nomination lists for the Best British Film and Best Director a

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register