|James Stewart in clown make-up.|
The life of the world’s greatest circus showman was chronicled in 1934’s The Mighty Barnum and 1986’s Barnum, with Wallace Beery and Burt Lancaster in the title roles, respectively.
Serious European directors have used the circus for symbolic purposes, as in Ingmar Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel (1953), Federico Fellini’s La Strada (1954), and Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire (1987).
|Doris Day and friend in Billy Rose's Jumbo.|
The following representative list of classic movies about circuses excludes those films set in fairs and carnivals:
Reprinted with the authors' permission from the Encyclopedia of Film Themes, Settings and Series.