Circus Girl (March 1, 1937)

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Circus Girl
 

Released on March 1, 1937: When a trapeze performer drops his partner during the final circus show of the year, the disabled partner vows revenge, but the girl that they both love may get caught in the middle.

Produced by Nat Levine

Directed by John H. Auer

The Actors: June Travis (Kay Rogers), Robert Livingston (Bob McAvoy), Donald Cook (Charles Jerome), Betty Compson (tiger tamer Carlotta), Charles Murray (Slippery), Lucille Osborne (Gloria), Donald Kerr (Gabby), Emma Dunn (Molly), John Wray (Roebling), John Holland (reporter), Kathryn Sheldon (nurse), Charlene Arnold (unknown), Joanne Arnold (unknown), Johnny Berry (young boy), Eugene Cavecche (circus performer), Gloria Cavecche (circus performer), Jiulio Cavecche (circus performer), Louis Cavecche (circus performer), Charles King (doorman), Elaine Koehler (circus performer), Wilfred Lucas (doctor), Lynne Roberts (young girl), Carleton Young (aerialist), Henry A. Escalante (stunt double)

 

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Death under the Big Top . . . The Lions Roar Tonight

I never went to a circus as a child, but I remember watching Don Ameche on television in the early 1960's showing different European circus acts every week, and I was always enchanted by the thrill of the performances. Although I knew that once in a while an act could go wrong and a performer could be injured or killed, I don't remember feeling any anxiety while watching the show. But in this circus story, even though I know in one part of my head that it is only a show . . . When the final scene was playing out I caught myself getting tense as I anticipated the danger, and knowing that someone in the story will die soon, I was on edge and gripping my popcorn bowl with white knuckles.

Charlie and Bob are a flying trapeze act, and they both love Kay, played by June Travis. Kay likes both boys but her heart is with Charlie . . . Everyone loves Charlie . . . Kay . . . blonde tiger-tamer Carlotta, played by Betty Compson . . . and then there is Charlie . . . He loves himself more than he loves Kay or Carlotta, and he's had girls to play with in every city that the circus appears in. Kay doesn't know about Charlie's reputation, or about his torrid affair with Carlotta the tiger-tamer, so when Charlie asks Kay to marry him she giddily agrees and they are secretly married. Later that day the spit hits the fan and Charlie's trapeze partner Bob discovers that Kay and Charlie are married, and then Carlotta discovers that Charlie is married at the same time that Kay discovers that Charlie and Carlotta were lovers. Whew, this is getting sticky! . . . But just wait . . . That night as Charlie and Bob are high above the ground and thrilling the circus audience with their act Bob slips and drops Charlie to the ground . . . of course an accident . . . nothing to do with his knowledge that Charlie just married the girl he also loved . . . Well, Charlie survives but will never fly again, and is a bitter, bitter man. This leads to that and Charlie says he forgives Bob and agrees to become the manager for Bob and his wife Kay in a new high flying trapeze act. With an evil look in his eye he convinces Bob and Kay to perform their new flying trapeze act not only without a net, but with all of the circus lions roaming the floor beneath them . . . billed as a suicide act! Everyone in the circus is worried about Charlie trying to get revenge on Bob . . . Everyone that is except Bob, who is happy-go-lucky positive that Charlie would never try to hurt him . . . Thus we get to the final scene . . . Bob and Kay flying on the trapeze that Charlie inspected closely before the act began . . . lions roaming the floor below roaring in hunger and looking eagerly above . . . and a rope that has been cut is slowly unravelling . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show!

June Travis
June Travis
Robert Livingston
Robert Livingston
Betty Compson and Donald Cook
Betty Compson and Donald Cook
Betty Compson, Donald Cook and June Travis
Betty Compson, Donald Cook and June Travis
Betty Compson and Donald Cook
Betty Compson and Donald Cook
Betty Compson and Donald Cook
Betty Compson and Donald Cook
Betty Compson and Donald Kerr
Betty Compson and Donald Kerr
Betty Compson and June Travis
Betty Compson and June Travis
Betty Compson
Betty Compson
Charles Murray and John Wray
Charles Murray and John Wray
Donald Cook
Donald Cook
Donald Cook and June Travis
Donald Cook and June Travis
Donald Kerr
Donald Kerr
Emma Dunn and Charles Murray
Emma Dunn and Charles Murray
Emma Dunn
Emma Dunn
John Wray and Robert Livingston
John Wray and Robert Livingston
June Travis and Donald Cook
June Travis and Donald Cook
June Travis
June Travis
Lucille Osborne and Emma Dunn
Lucille Osborne and Emma Dunn
Robert Livingston
Robert Livingston
Robert Livingston, Donald Kerr and Lucille Osborne
Robert Livingston, Donald Kerr and Lucille Osborne
Robert Livingston
Robert Livingston
Robert Livingston
Robert Livingston