Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Under The Big Top|
Actor: Jack LaRue Ann Nagel
Director: Karl Brown
Two trapeze artists fall in love... with disastrous consequences.
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Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 07/04/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I seem to be reviewing lots of 1930s titles from poverty row studio Monogram at the moment, but UNDER THE BIG TOP (1938) is one that I'm really surprised never found a bigger audience.
Marjorie Main stars in this brisk circus melodrama. She plays Sara Post, the tough-talking manager of a circus that has hit the skids during the darkest days of the Depression. The last thing Sara needs is to be saddled with her orphaned niece Penny (Charlene Wyatt), but she turns the situation to her advantage when the kid accidentally sets fire to the tent! Thanks to insurance money, Sara re-builds the dying circus into a thriving business, and as the story picks up fifteen years later, a now grown-up Penny (played by Anne Nagel) is the troupe's biggest and most beloved trapeze star. But not everything is rosy: Sara's relationship with Penny, which has always been strained, becomes threatened by Penny's illicit romance with trapeze costar Pablo (Grant Richards).
UNDER THE BIG TOP is an hour full of circus thrills, melodramatic dialogue and cute romance. It's not exactly "The Greatest Show on Earth", but if you like the late 1930s Monogram productions, you'll know what to expect from this title. Marjorie Main delivers one of her classic, hard-boiled performances as a woman who's all prickles on the surface but hides a tender heart. Lovely Anne Nagel glows as the older Penny; the aerial sequences are beautifully shot.
Alpha's DVD comes from a basic but very watchable print. Most of the damage is confined to reel-cues, and the soundtrack is easily heard. If you collect the 'classics' of Monogram, you'll definitely enjoy UNDER THE BIG TOP."