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The Greatest Show on Earth (1 Viewer)

OliverK

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That's a matter of opinion.

I was only half serious as imo Giant looks really good for what it is but it is simply not on the same level with regard to both sound and picture quality and both The King and I and The Searchers are rather controversial due to their color grading even though detail and textures are fine in all of them.

At least all the others got a Blu-ray release while we are still waiting for a Blu-ray of Around the World in 80 Days.
 

Dick

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Actually, it wasn't. That would be that sentimental piece of slop known as Going My Way.

I just watched this for the first time last week, and only then because I am laid up while awaiting hip replacement surgery and have way too much time on my hands. I have always found Barry Fitzgerald to be quite insufferable, like one of those obnoxious Keelber elves in the commercials. The overwrought sentimentality in this film is offensive (but obviously not enough in 1944 to keep it from garnering those Oscars). You know, Tom, I agree with you that this movie is (IMO) the worst ever to win the Best Picture award. Other 1944 films include LAURA, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS...and so many more deserving films.
 

battlebeast

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I was only half serious as imo Giant looks really good for what it is but it is simply not on the same level with regard to both sound and picture quality and both The King and I and The Searchers are rather controversial due to their color grading even though detail and textures are fine in all of them.

At least all the others got a Blu-ray release while we are still waiting for a Blu-ray of Around the World in 80 Days.
FRIENDLY PERSUASION is not on Blu Ray.
 

Thomas T

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Personally, I would have given it to "The King and I" or "Giant". We all know that "The Searchers"' got robbed that year as it was the best movie released in 1956, yet wasn't even nominated for any major awards

1956 was a great year for cinema but the Academy seemed to think bigger is better. How else can you explain that with the exception of the relatively small scale Friendly Persuasion, the other four nominees were large scale roadshow type epics or musicals (Around The World In 80 Days, Ten Commandments, Giant, The King And I).

The Searchers has already been mentioned but 1956 also saw such important contributions to cinema like The Killing, Baby Doll, Forbidden Planet, Written On The Wind, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Girl Can't Help It. All movies that posterity has shown to be more "artistic" in their execution and intent than the four BIG nominees. Full confession: while I love Ten Commandments and The King And I, I find Giant and 80 Days bloated dull "epics" that are near impossible to sit through. That being said, I have them in my collection. Giant for Elizabeth Taylor (who I'll watch in anything) and 80 Days for the star studded cameos and Victor Young score.
 
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Garysb

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Let's not forget bad best actor and actress choices. 1940 seema a prime year for this. look who win against who was nominated. James Stewart has given Oscar worthy performances but I don't think his role in the The Philadelphia Story was one of them compared to most of the others nominated that year.
He was the second male lead in a star turn by Katharine Hepburn.

WINNER
JAMES STEWART
The Philadelphia Story
NOMINEES
CHARLES CHAPLIN
The Great Dictator
HENRY FONDA
The Grapes of Wrath
RAYMOND MASSEY
Abe Lincoln in Illinois
LAURENCE OLIVIER
Rebecca

WINNER
GINGER ROGERS
Kitty Foyle
NOMINEES
BETTE DAVIS
The Letter
JOAN FONTAINE
Rebecca
KATHARINE HEPBURN
The Philadelphia Story
MARTHA SCOTT
Our Town
 

Vic Pardo

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Actually, it wasn't. That would be that sentimental piece of slop known as Going My Way. :) And as far as circus movies go, I'll take the 1959 The Big Circus with Victor Mature, Rhonda Fleming, Gilbert Roland and Peter Lorre. More entertaining and a lot less bloat.

You left out Vincent Price and Red Buttons (whose centennial was four days ago).
 

Vic Pardo

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1956 was a great year for cinema but the Academy seemed to think bigger is better. How else can you explain that with the exception of the relatively small scale Friendly Persuasion, the other four nominees were large scale roadshow type epics or musicals (Around The World In 80 Days, Ten Commandments, Giant, The King And I).

The Searchers has already been mentioned but 1956 also saw such important contributions to cinema like The Killing, Baby Doll, Forbidden Planet, Written On The Wind, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Girl Can't Help It. All movies that posterity has shown to be more "artistic" in their execution and intent than the four BIG nominees. Full confession: while I love Ten Commandments and The King And I, I find Giant and 80 Days bloated dull "epics" that are near impossible to sit through. That being said, I have them in my collection. Giant for Elizabeth Taylor (who I'll watch in anything) and 80 Days for the star studded cameos and Victor Young score.

Agreed...definitely a great year for cinema. In my piece on the best films of 1956 two years ago (60th anniversary), the only Best Picture nominee I included was THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

https://briandanacamp.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/the-best-films-of-1956/
 

Billy Batson

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I remember this used to turn up on TV a couple of years ago looking sort of okay, & then it was shown in HD looking wow! I hoped we'd get a Blu-ray, but unless there's a change at Paramount, I just can't see it happening (but a change could happen...any day - ha, me grabing at straws).

As for best picture, well it is a lot of corny fun, & I wouldn't use the Oscars as a yardstick for excellence, in any category.
 
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Matt Hough

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I always get a little angry with the explanation that the Academy honored DeMille with the Best Picture Oscar since none of his other (better) films had ever garnered him the award before. The fact is that the Academy honored him in 1949 with a special Oscar for his three-plus decades of showmanship and in 1952 also gave him the Thalberg Award (given for an outstanding record of movie production). There was NO need to honor him with Best Picture just to give him an Oscar at the expense of great films like High Noon or The Quiet Man not being recognized (not to mention superb films like Singin' in the Rain, The Lavender Hill Mob, and The Bad and the Beautiful not even getting nominated).

Maybe it was just the size and spectacle of the production that brought it the award. (The Golden Globes also honored it as Best Drama.)
 

benbess

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Although High Noon, Singin' in the Rain, etc., may have deserved to win, I guess I'm the only one here who likes The Greatest Show on Earth a lot. James Stewart gives a good performance, as do most of the other cast members imho. And of course the DeMille spectacle is there in many scenes. And now that the circus is dead this is one of the best records of what it was like. Spielberg has said that The Greatest Show on Earth was one of the first (or perhaps the first?) movie he saw on the big screen, and that it had a significant impact on him. Just my 2 cents. Live and let live.
 

battlebeast

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Although High Noon, Singin' in the Rain, etc., may have deserved to win, I guess I'm the only one here who likes The Greatest Show on Earth a lot. James Stewart gives a good performance, as do most of the other cast members imho. And of course the DeMille spectacle is there in many scenes. And now that the circus is dead this is one of the best records of what it was like. Spielberg has said that The Greatest Show on Earth was one of the first (or perhaps the first?) movie he saw on the big screen, and that it had a significant impact on him. Just my 2 cents. Live and let live.
I liked it, I also thought Stewart was great, but imho HIGH NOON should have won.
 

Robert Crawford

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Although High Noon, Singin' in the Rain, etc., may have deserved to win, I guess I'm the only one here who likes The Greatest Show on Earth a lot. James Stewart gives a good performance, as do most of the other cast members imho. And of course the DeMille spectacle is there in many scenes. And now that the circus is dead this is one of the best records of what it was like. Spielberg has said that The Greatest Show on Earth was one of the first (or perhaps the first?) movie he saw on the big screen, and that it had a significant impact on him. Just my 2 cents. Live and let live.
Ben,

Please, don't mistake some of us saying "The Greatest Show on Earth" not deserving of the BP Oscar as not liking the film a lot. I for one, love "The Greatest Show on Earth". One of the funniest movie cameos ever filmed was in that movie. It cracks me up every time I see it. With that said, there were other great films that deserved the BP that year over "The Greatest Show on Earth".
 

Dan_Shane

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My fondest moment in TGSOE is the big top parade that mixes Disney characters into a Paramount film. Sure makes me curious what kind of a studio deal was going on there.
 

philip*eric

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THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH is a film I fell in love with as a kid when I saw it on its first reissue in 1958-9. I certainly can remember that first time seeing this candy colored, Technicolor love letter to the world of Circus, especially that of Ringling Bros. + Barnum & Bailey. For me, the film was a cornucopia of delights -- beautiful music and sweet songs, thrilling scenes of danger and romance, an amazing cast of very talented performers from Betty Hutton to Emmett Kelly , all the DeMille trademarks from the director's narration to the wonderful "documentary " footage of the performers and the audiences , etc. Seeing this in the movie theater in 35 mm Technicolor on a big screen is the only way to appreciate it fully.. I see in perspective now that it may not have been the "Best" picture of 1951 but I don't care. I love it for what it is and how much joy it and all the other great DeMille films have given me in my life. I certainly would love to see a 4K HD restoration on disc with any extras that can be found or made(there is a wonderful trailer that DeMille hosts).
 

Garysb

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Lucille Ball was originally going to be cast in Gloria Grahame's part of Angel but got pregnant.
Here is an episode of the TV series "The Greatest Show on Earth" from 1963 guest staring Lucille Ball. The show was originally in color but this youtube video is in B&W.

A color clip from the episode.
 

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