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P.T. Barnum (1999)

The story of the great American showman and promoter.

Director:

Simon Wincer

Writer:

Lionel Chetwynd
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Beau Bridges ... P.T. Barnum
Jordan Bridges ... Young P.T. Barnum
Cynthia Dale ... Charity
Natalie Radford Natalie Radford ... Young Charity
George Hamilton ... Francis Olmsted
Henry Czerny ... Greenwood
Charles Martin Smith ... Beach
Josh Ryan Evans ... (General) Tom Thumb
R.H. Thomson ... James Anthony Bailey
Art Kitching ... Samuel Hurd
Stephanie Morgenstern ... Nancy (Fish)
Serge Houde ... John Genin
Isabelle Cyr ... Caroline (Barnum)
Bruce Dinsmore ... David Thompson
Victoria Sanchez ... Helen (Barnum)
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Storyline

This series illustrates the life and career of P.T. Barnum, America's greatest showman and promoter. Starting as a young man who managed an old woman who was supposedly George Washington's nursemaid, we see his career as he finds success promoting curiosities and attractions with panache and a judicious mix of truth and creativity, whether it be promoting his museum or characters like the midget General Tom Thumb. Yet because the demands of his businesses, his family life is troubled and marred by tragedy. All the while, events lead to his greatest creation, the Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 September 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Barnum Cirkusz See more »

Filming Locations:

Brockville, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Barnum never himself used the phrase "there's a sucker born every minute." See more »

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User Reviews

Inspirational miniseries
20 October 2004 | by l_guldbrandssonSee all my reviews

Although I cannot argue with the former comment about this miniseries a bit boring, I feel it's also misleading. Certainly, it needn't have been 4 hours long, but if you look past that, and watch it as the costume drama it is, you'd probably enjoy it. The sets are magnificent, and the acting isn't as bad as the former comment suggested.

But what is stunning is Barnum himself, and all the things that we take for granted, that he started or invented - like Madison Square Garden, the permanent circus, the terms "rain check", "grandstanding", and "press conference" (as well as the very notion of a press conference), but also modern advertising - including full page ads, creating a demand, and infotainment. That's the real strength of the miniseries - Barnum's optimistic view of the world and his ideas of marketing and showmanship.

So, if you're interested in how show business started to be a legitimate business, you should see it, even if you shouldn't place it at the top of you "to watch"-list.


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