The Greatest Show on Earth
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The Greatest Show on Earth
Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth is a lavish tribute to circuses, featuring three intertwining plotlines concerning romance and rivalry beneath the big top. DeMille's film includes spectacular action sequences, including a show-stopping train wreck. The Greatest Show on Earth won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Story. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 42%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The movie's plot does not quite hold all this pageantry together, but De Mille's scripters and actors enter into the thing in the proper flamboyant spirit."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"Characteristically elephantine Big Top epic from DeMille, thumped across with a winning brashness and garnering the veteran showman his first Best Picture Oscar."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"Roll up, roll up! Get your pompous overblown spectacle here!"
‑ , Total Film
"A Soap Opera under the big top, The Greatest Show on Earth features little in the way of a plot and more in the line of a hollow spectacle."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"Clumsy, innocent, awkward, to be sure, but it's never skimpy on the fun."
‑ David Cornelius,
"This is the circus with more entertainment, more thrills, more spangles and as much Big Top atmosphere as RB-B&B itself can offer. It's a smash certainty for high-wire grosses."
‑ Herb Golden, Variety
"Two American institutions have combined to put out a piece of entertainment that will delight movie audiences for years."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Middling circus backstage drama."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Fun DeMille full of spectacle and flashy stars...and a great train wreck."
‑ Steve Crum, Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers
"The Academy Award for Best Picture has been bestowed on any number of unworthy candidates over the years, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one less deserving than The Greatest Show on Earth."
‑ Jesse Hassenger, PopMatters
"It won best-picture Oscar for 1952, but God (De Mille's favorite walk-on, strangely absent here) only knows why."
‑ Pat Graham, Chicago Reader
"As usual, DeMille megaphones his direction to let us know where we've been, where we are and where we're going, but this is marvellous entertainment, nevertheless."
‑ Tom Hutchinson, Radio Times
"It's big, it's garish, it's loud, and most of all, it's wonderful."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"One of the worst films to ever win the Best Picture Oscar, Cecil B. DeMille's melodramatic circus adventure starring Jimmy Stewart and Charlton Heston inexplicably won the writing award (the called Motion Picture Story)."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It's an entertaining film, but it's certainly no masterpieceand doesn't really stand up to the year's other offerings."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for The Greatest Show on Earth on Rotten Tomatoes