The Greatest Show on Earth

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Year Released: 1952
Rating: 2.0

A circus troupe - run by taskmaster Brad (Charlton Heston) - is concerned with their finances (and drawing crowds) so they bring in talented troublemaker The Great Sebastian (Cornel Wilde) to be their "star," which aggravates high flying Holly (Betty Hutton), who wants to be the center of attention.  This sort of maximalist filmmaking can be exhausting - it's part documentary (about how to put together a show and then pack it all up and travel elsewhere), part parade, part fashion show, part musical, etc. - that goes to the extreme in every which way: Hutton cannot, at any moment, bring herself to take it down a notch, and even the voice-over (provided by DeMille) is highly embellished.  Not even a mobster (Lawrence Tierney) nor a massive train wreck nor the need for a blood transfusion can stop the production: the show must always go on.  But in reality, I'd have liked to know a whole lot more about what happened with James Stewart's Buttons - is that what famous surgeons do when they accidentally kill their spouse, plop on grease paint and try to get away with being a clown the rest of their lives?