Man On A Tightrope

  • 1953
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

March, in another powerful role, is the manager of a little Czech circus that is trying to get across the border through the Iron Curtain to freedom. March's family has owned the circus for generations. When the communists take over Czechoslovakia, his young performers are drafted into the service and his equipment sadly goes to seed without proper repair...read more

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March, in another powerful role, is the manager of a little Czech circus that is trying to get across the border through the Iron Curtain to freedom. March's family has owned the circus for generations. When the communists take over Czechoslovakia, his young performers are drafted into the

service and his equipment sadly goes to seed without proper repair and replacement parts, which the new regime denies him. Moreover, he is told he no longer owns the circus but operates it for the benefit of the state. His troupers are instructed to perform their routines so that the communist

credo is emphasized, which rankles the fiercely independent March. He nevertheless plays a waiting game, until his circus nears the Bavarian border. Meanwhile, he tries to keep his willful daughter Moore from becoming entangled with a worthless, shiftless lion tamer, Mitchell. Grahame, his young

wife, believes March is a coward, especially after she sees him buckling under to instructions from communist cop Menjou. March learns that there is a spy in the circus and suspects Mitchell, but he later learns that it's the brawny Boone, the man in charge of the equipment. At the border, March

parades his circus in full regalia, distracting guards, then unleashes dogs the guards believe to be wolves and stampedes his elephants while the performers race pell-mell across a bridge in their wagons and into free Germany. March is shot to death by Boone, who in turn is killed by a circus

dwarf. With March dead, Grahame, now proud of her dead husband, vows to carry on in his shoes. Kazan's direction is flawless, and the story, written with great style and sharp dialogue by Sherwood, is superb. Shot on location in Bavaria, Germany, authentic acts were used, and the entire Birnbach

Circus was employed for this excellent production.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: March, in another powerful role, is the manager of a little Czech circus that is trying to get across the border through the Iron Curtain to freedom. March's family has owned the circus for generations. When the communists take over Czechoslovakia, his you… (more)

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