The Greatest Show on Earth
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

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,… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: February 21, 1952
DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
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Critic Score: 44% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: The Greatest Show on Earth is melodramatic, short on plot, excessively lengthy and bogged down with clichés, but not without a certain innocent charm.

TIME Magazine

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.

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Paul Taylor
Time Out

Characteristically elephantine Big Top epic from DeMille, thumped across with a winning brashness and garnering the veteran showman his first Best Picture Oscar.

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Tracy Moore
Common Sense Media

Sprawling circus tale is a visual feast with heavy themes.

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Herb Golden

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.

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Kate Cameron
New York Daily News

The great showman of the movies has packed everything into this one picture. It has comedy, drama, thrills, melodrama, tragedy and great heart appeal.

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Tom Hutchinson
Radio Times

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.

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Pat Graham
Chicago Reader

It won best-picture Oscar for 1952, but God (De Mille's favorite walk-on, strangely absent here) only knows why.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Two American institutions have combined to put out a piece of entertainment that will delight movie audiences for years.

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Total Film

Roll up, roll up! Get your pompous overblown spectacle here!

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More reviews for The Greatest Show on Earth

Flixster Audience Score: 55% Flixster User Reviews
Chris Weber
Directed by the legendary helmer of epics Mr. Cecil B. DeMille, this star-studded spectacle which takes a look at the cicrcus world during the golden age of… More
Jason Owens
Wow, can't believe the negative ratings this movie's getting. Sure, the love story part of the plot is a bit overbearing at times, but to watch all… More
Matheus Carvalho
Para as gerações mais recentes, quando o circo é mencionado a primeira relação que deve ser feita é com os espetáculos pirotécnicos e acrobáticos de grupos como… More
Fernando Rafael Quintero Castañeda
Although I've only seen 22 of them, I seriously doubt "The Greatest Show on Earth" is the worst "Best Picture" Oscar winner ever.… More
Dean McKenna
The 1952 Oscar winner for best picture succeeds in the same manner as its subject, the circus; it's enjoyable family entertainment. Three major stories of… More
Lafe Fredbjornson
A circus which has every cool act imaginable. It gets a bit soap-operish.