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Cinema Circus (1937)

Approved | | Short, Comedy, Family | 23 January 1937 (USA)
Various entertainment celebrities take part in a circus performance, along with authentic acrobats and other performers of the big top.


Roy Rowland


John W. Krafft (dialogue) (as John Krafft)


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Complete credited cast:
Lee Tracy ... Ringmaster (archive footage)
California Collegians California Collegians ... The California Collegians (archive footage)
Marcus Show Girls Marcus Show Girls ... The Marcus Show Girls (archive footage)
The Fanchonettes The Fanchonettes ... The Fanchonettes (archive footage)
Gay Boys Gay Boys ... The Gay Boys (archive footage)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gladys Ahern Gladys Ahern ... Gladys Ahern-Dancer (archive footage)
Will Ahern Will Ahern ... Will Ahern (archive footage)
Baby LeRoy ... Baby LeRoy (archive footage)
George Barbier ... George Barbier (archive footage)
Rex Bell ... Rex Bell (archive footage)
Leo Carrillo ... Leo Carrillo (archive footage)
Chester Conklin ... Keystone Kop (archive footage)
Cliff Edwards ... Ike (archive footage)
Alice Faye ... Alice Faye (archive footage)
James Gleason ... James Gleason (archive footage)


Actor Lee Tracy presides as ringmaster over a show that combines the best elements of cinema with the circus, what he calls a Cinema Circus. Tracy introduces a number of professional circus acts, plus a cavalcade of movie stars who have side shows under the open air big tent. There is as much action in the audience as Tracy identifies a number of movie stars watching the proceedings incognito, having their own fun in the stands, and sometimes interacting with the circus acts. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy | Family


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 January 1937 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A copy of this film is held by the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »


She Was an Acrobat's Daughter
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
Played and sung during the acrobat wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty Bland From Start to Finish
31 July 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Cinema Circus (1937)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

Back in the Golden Age of Hollywood, several short subjects were produced just to show various stars in their off time or fooling around on the set. This Technicolor short takes place at a circus where we get to see various acts perform but the real reason this was made was to show off several stars. Most of the time the stars are just sitting in the crowd where they get a quick introduction. We get the likes of Boris Karloff, William S. Hart, Alice Faye, The Ritz Brothers, Ben Turpin, James Gleason, Charles Murray and several others. The "ringmaster" of the event is Lee Tracy and we also get a man in a gorilla suit. I've seen quite a few of these "show off the stars" shorts and there's no question that this one here is the most boring. Yes, it was fun seeing the stars and yes the Technicolor looks amazing but this is really all there is and it's not enough to carry the 19-minute running time. I will admit that I was deadly bored throughout the running time because there just wasn't enough going on to keep you interested or entertained. I will say that the final cameo by a star who I won't name was very funny and it almost makes the entire thing worth sitting through. Or, perhaps you can just fast forward to the end.

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