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VICTOR MATURE AND KATHRYN GRANT IN 'THE BIG CIRCUS'

Title: THE BIG CIRCUS Year: 1959 Rating: ***1/2

Circus movie with the same plot as RING OF FEAR where someone is sabotaging the acts, threatening lives and the entire traveling business, only in THE BIG CIRCUS we don't know who the culprit is... although with so many menacing shots of famously-menacing Vincent Price as the ringleader, one thing's for certain: it isn't him...

Run by bigger-than-life promotion king Henry Jasper 'Hank' Whirling, played by a confident, capable Victor Mature, he's saddled with a sidekick in Red Buttons as an accountant from a bank about to close down the show...

Kathryn Grant and Red Buttons in THE BIG CIRCUS

Buttons plays against type as a straight-laced, uptight penny-pincher, and is sought-after by Mature's gorgeous little sister Kathryn Grant after she sees an impromptu clown act where Red finally plays himself after lead clown (and Mature's secondary sidekick) Peter Lorre gets stinking drunk...

Overall, with all its busy fanfare and colorful animal acts, THE BIG CIRCUS, written and produced by Irwin Allen, is more a contained Mystery film that keeps the viewer guessing more about what will happen next than if newly hired promotional agent Rhonda Fleming will melt Mature's heart, or if trapeze artist Gilbert Roland will survive an overlong tightrope walk across Niagara Falls: All part of your usual circus movie, which this only resembles on the surface. 

Red Buttons and Victor Mature in THE BIG CIRCUS
Rhonda Fleming and Kathryn Grant in THE BIG CIRCUS
Kathryn Grant in THE BIG CIRCUS
Kathryn Grant in THE BIG CIRCUS with Victor Mature and Peter Lorre
Kathryn Grant and Red Buttons in THE BIG CIRCUS
Kathryn Grant and Red Buttons in THE BIG CIRCUS
Kathryn Grant in THE BIG CIRCUS
Kathryn Grant and Red Buttons in THE BIG CIRCUS
Kathryn Grant and Red Buttons in THE BIG CIRCUS
Kathryn Grant in THE BIG CIRCUS with Adele Mara
Victor Mature and Rhonda Fleming in THE BIG CIRCUS
Vincent Price in THE BIG CIRCUS
Rhonda Fleming and Vincent Price in THE BIG CIRCUS
Rhonda Fleming in THE BIG CIRCUS
Victor Mature and Peter Lorre in THE BIG CIRCUS
Kathryn Grant and Red Buttons in THE BIG CIRCUS
Charles Watts and Howard McNear in THE BIG CIRCUS
Kathryn Grant and Red Buttons in THE BIG CIRCUS
Kathryn Grant in THE BIG CIRCUS
Kathryn Grant and David Nelson in THE BIG CIRCUS
Gilbert Roland, Red Buttons and Kathryn Grant in THE BIG CIRCUS
Gilbert Roland, David Nelson and Kathryn Grant in THE BIG CIRCUS
Peter Lorre in THE BIG CIRCUS

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