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Quotations from The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on Earth is a romantic family drama film about the lives of a clown, elephant trainer, and a trapeze artist. The film follows their lives as they set out for a long road journey as they plan to run a teen week season instead of losing money due to a bad post-war economy. The film is based on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily Curcus show. The movie shows actual circus acts and gives behind-the-rings looks at how the circus is put together. Directed by Cecil B. DeMille. Starring James Stewart, Charlton Heston, and Betty Hutton.

The Greatest Show on Earth received mixed reviews upon its release. However, it went on to be a financial success at the box office. It also won two Oscar awards, for Best Picture and Best Writing, Motion Picture Story, and was nominated for three others. Continue reading for quotes from The Greatest Show on Earth.


Narrator: We bring you the circus, pied piper whose magic tunes greet children of all ages, from six to 60, into a tinsel and spun-candy world of reckless beauty and mounting laughter and whirling thrills; of rhythm, excitement and grace; of blaring and daring and dance; of high-stepping horses and high-flying stars. But behind all this, the circus is a massive machine whose very life depends on discipline and motion and speed. A mechanized army on wheels, that rolls over any obstacle in its path, that meets calamity again and again, but always comes up smiling. A place where disaster and tragedy stalk the big top, haunt the backyard, and ride the circus train. Where death is constantly watching for one frayed rope, one weak link, or one trace of fear. A fierce, primitive fighting force that smashes relentlessly forward against impossible odds. That is the circus. And this is the story of the biggest of the big tops, and of the men and women who fight to make it "The Greatest Show on Earth."
Angel: Did he say you were like cognac? All fire in zee glass?
Holly: No, he said I was like champagne. I made his head spin.
Angel: Yeah, only you'll be the one who winds up with a hangover.
Angel: Listen, sugar, the only way that you can keep me warm is to wrap me up in a marriage license.
Klaus: You always have a smile for that high-flying peacock.
Angel: Well, what do you want me to do, cry over him?
Holly: I'd hate to have your nerve in a tooth!
Buttons: How long do you think this can go on before something happens?
Brad Braden: It's circus, isn't it?
Buttons: Do you believe in prayer?
Brad Braden: And practice.
Buttons: Clowns are funny people, they only love once.
Holly: All men aren't that way, even if they act like clowns.
Klaus: Your legs are too thin, your hair is too red, you have lips like a cat. You're no good. You give me too much trouble.
Angel: Flattery rolls right off me.
Angel: You are a sourpuss, aren't you?
Brad Braden: Yeah.
Angel: You want to bite somebody?
Brad Braden: Yeah.
Angel: Well, pick your spot.
Midway barker: That's all, ladies and gentlemen, that's all. Come again to the greatest show on earth. Bring the children. Bring the old folks. You can shake the sawdust off your feet, but you can't shake it outta your heart. Come again, folks. The Greatest Show on Earth. Come again.
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