Classic Film Guide

The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

An apt name for a Cecil B. DeMille film, this one about circus life. It earned him his only non-honorary Oscar, Best Picture, on his only BP nomination; his direction was also nominated and the film also took home the Writing Oscar. However, I think he too benefited from a split vote between High Noon (1952) and John Ford's The Quiet Man (1952). As previously mentioned, Ford won the Best Director award (over DeMille). It stars Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, Dorothy Lamour, Gloria Grahame, Henry Wilcoxon, and John Ridgely (among others). Great "every man" Jimmy Stewart plays a circus clown never seen without his make-up throughout the entire movie. Bob Hope & Bing Crosby even appear (uncredited) as spectators. A great film, The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), wasn't nominated for BP but won five Oscars anyway.

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