145 search results for circus movie
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Author Yoram Kaniuk's celebrated 1971 novel concerning a charismatic yet questionably sane Holocaust survivor comes to the screen in this dark drama starring Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, and Derek Jacobi. In the years before World War II, Adam Stein (Goldblum) was a Berlin entertainer who thrilled audiences with extravagant circus acts and spectacular magic tricks. Later, when Hitler took power and Europe was plunged into chaos, Stein and his family were locked away in a concentration camp presided over by the sadistic Commandant Klein (Dafoe). The only reason Stein survived those dreadful years was because he managed to become the commandant's personal "dog," entertaining his captors even as his wife and daughter are marched off to die. Flash-forward to 1961, when Stein is a patient at an Israeli mental hospital for Holocaust survivors. Seemingly able to read minds, Stein confounds head doctor Nathan Gross (Jacobi) with the question "Who brought a dog in here?" Despite Gross' vehement denial that any such animal is on the premises, Stein soon tracks the scent to a young boy who has spent his entire youth locked in a basement and chained to a wall. Over time, Stein and the boy see in each other something undeniably familiar, and the two kindred spirits set out on a remarkable journey together. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
Includes - Freaks (1932) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941), MPAA Rating: G House of Wax (1953) The Haunting (1963), MPAA Rating: G Freaks The genesis of MGM's Freaks was a magazine piece by Ted Robbins titled Spurs. The story involved a terrible revenge enacted by a mean-spirited circus midget upon his normal-sized wife. In adapting Spurs for the screen, writers Willis Goldbeck, Leon Gordon, Edgar Allan Wolf, and Al Boasberg retained the circus setting and the little man-big woman wedding, all the while de-vilifying the midget and transforming the woman into the true "heavy" of the piece. German "little person" Harry Earles plays Hans, who falls in love with long-legged trapeze artist Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova). Discovering that Hans is heir to a fortune, Cleopatra inveigles him into a marriage, all the while planning to bump off her new husband and run away with brutish strongman Hercules (Henry Victor). What she doesn't reckon with is the code of honor among circus freaks: "offend one, offend them all." What set this film apart from director Tod Browning's earlier efforts was the fact that genuine circus and carnival sideshow performers were cast as the freaks: Harry Earles and his equally diminutive sister Daisy, Siamese twins Violet and Daisy Hilton, legless Johnny Eck, armless-legless Randian (who rolls cigarettes with his teeth), androgynous Josephine-Joseph, "pinheads" Schlitzie, Elvira, Jennie Lee Snow, and so on. Upon its initial release, Freaks was greeted with such revulsion from movie-house audiences that MGM spent the next 30 years distancing themselves as far from the project as possible. For many years available only in a truncated reissue version titled Nature's Mistakes, Freaks was eventually restored to its original release print. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the second sound version of the Robert Louis Stevenson "doppelganger" tale. This time Spencer Tracy plays the benevolent Dr. Jekyll, whose experiments in releasing the evil impulses within himself transform him into the bestial Mr. Hyde. The problem here is that while Tracy is convincing enough as Hyde, we have trouble accepting him as the kindly Jekyll--exactly the opposite of the 1931 version, in which Fredric March was credible as both Jekyll and Hyde (in fairness to Tracy, it must be noted that he didn't want to play the role and had to be forced into it). MGM decreed that no publicity pictures be released showing Tracy in his Hyde makeup, thereby building up audience anticipation. It's just as well that MGM kept these pictures under wraps: Tracy's Hyde looks less like the Living Personification of Evil than like a man who's been on a three-day bender. The most fascinating aspect of this version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the casting of the two leading ladies. Ever since the 1920 John Barrymore version of this story, it has been de rigeur to symbolize the schism between Jekyll and Hyde by giving him both a "good" and "evil" girlfriend. Originally, MGM adhered to typecasting by assigning the good girl to Ingrid Bergman and the bad one to Lana Turner. But Bergman begged the studio to be allowed to play the more wicked of the two ladies; as a result, hers is by far the best performance in the picture. Neither as lively as the 1920 version nor as innovative as the 1931 remake, MGM's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is weighted down with tiresome dialogue and over-obvious symbolism (catch that dream sequence in which Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner make like racehorses!) Despite its shortcomings, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was infinitely preferable to the next remake, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide House of Wax This simplified (but lavish) remake of the 1933 melodrama The Mystery of the Wax Museum was the most financially successful 3-D production of the 1950s. In his first full-fledged "horror" role, Vincent Price plays Prof. Henry Jarrod, the
Includes - Batman (1989), MPAA Rating: PG-13 Batman Returns (1992), MPAA Rating: PG-13 Batman Forever (1995), MPAA Rating: PG-13 Batman & Robin (1997), MPAA Rating: PG-13 Batman Behind the black cowl, Gotham City superhero Batman is really millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton), who turned to crimefighting after his parents were brutally murdered before his eyes. The only person to share Wayne's secret is faithful butler Alfred (Michael Gough). The principal villain in Batman is The Joker (Jack Nicholson) who'd been mob torpedo Jack Napier before he was horribly disfigured in a vat of acid. The Joker's plan to destroy Batman and gain control of Gotham City is manifold. First he distributes a line of booby-trapped cosmetics, then he goes on a destruction spree in the Gotham Art Museum while the music of Prince blasts away in the background, and finally he orchestrates an all-out campaign to win the hearts and minds of the Gothamites, hoping to turn them against the Cowled One. Meanwhile, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) becomes the love of Batman's life-which of course plays right into the Joker's hands. Photographed by Roger Pratt, designed by Anton Furst, and scored by Tim Burton's favorite composer Danny Elfman, Batman was a monstrous box-office hit, making $100 million in the first ten days of release--$82,800,000 in North America alone. Incidentally, Billy Dee Williams' comparatively small role as DA Harvey Dent was originally designed to set up the sequel, wherein Dent was to convert into master criminal Two-Face; but by the time the producers got around to that character in 1995's Batman Forever, Two-Face was played by Tommy Lee Jones. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Batman Returns In this first sequel to 1989's Batman, the Caped Crusader (Michael Keaton) is up against the Penguin (Danny DeVito), the hideously deformed scion of a wealthy Gotham City family. The Penguin plots with evil businessman Max Schreck (Christopher Walken) to become mayor and then turn Gotham into a cathedral of crime. Upon overhearing these plans, Schreck's mousy secretary Selena Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) is tossed from a high-rise window by her boss. Rescued by a covey of kittens, Selena transforms into the leather-clad Catwoman. In this guise, she teams with the Penguin and Schreck to divvy up their ill-gotten gains and help discredit Batman-but she also has her own scores to settle. Paul "Pee-Wee Herman" Reubens, Vincent Schiavelli and Jan Hooks play significant bits, while Pat Hingle and Michael Gough make returns as, respectively, Commissioner Gordon and Alfred the Butler. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Batman Forever Director Joel Schumacher inherited the Batman franchise from Tim Burton and began steering it in the campier direction of the Sixties television show with this third installment. First-time Batman/Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer), in his only outing as the Caped Crusader, is effectively brooding as he ponders strange dreams about his parents' death and escapes his own near-demise at the hands of Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones), a former district attorney driven insane and turned into a master criminal when a gangster throws acid in his face. Meanwhile, as sexy psychologist Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) tries to analyze and seduce both Bruce Wayne and Batman, Wayne Enterprises employee Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey) reacts badly to getting fired, using his self-invented mind-energy device to transform into the super-intelligent Riddler. The Riddler teams up with Two-Face to bring down Batman and drain the minds of Gotham City residents with his device, while Batman gets some much-needed help in the form of circus performer Dick Grayson (Chris O'Donnell), out for vengeance after being orphaned by Two-Face. ~ Don Kaye, All Movie Guide Batman & Robin This was the third follow-up to Tim Burton's Batman (1989), the original revisionist look at the Gotham City legend, as well as the second in the Batman series directed by J
Why it's terrifying: As if the sight of naughty little children blowing up in...
Extreme stunts abound in this new film.