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American Experience: The Circus DVD

$29.99 $24.99
Item #: WB0112

The Circus explores the colorful history of this popular, influential and distinctly American form of entertainment, from the first one-ring show at the end of the 18th century to 1956, when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey big top was pulled down for the last time.

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The Circus explores the colorful history of this popular, influential and distinctly American form of entertainment, from the first one-ring show at the end of the 18th century to 1956, when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey big top was pulled down for the last time.


American Experience: The Circus This four-hour mini-series tells the story of one of the most popular and influential forms of entertainment in American history. Drawing upon a vast and rich visual archive, The Circus follows the rise and fall of the gigantic, traveling tented railroad circus, recounting the era when Circus Day could shut down a town, and circus stars were among the most famous people in the country. For many Americans, the circus embodied the improbable and the impossible, the exotic and the spectacular. Through the intertwined stories of several of the most innovative and influential impresarios of the late nineteenth century, this series reveals the circus was a uniquely American entertainment created by a rapidly expanding and industrializing nation; that it embraced and was made possible by Western imperialism; that its history was shaped by a tension between its unconventional entertainments and prevailing standards of respectability; and that its promise for ordinary people was the possibility for personal reinvention. Drawing upon a vast and richly visual archive and featuring a host of performers, historians and aficionados, The Circus brings to life an era when Circus Day would shut down a town, its stars were among the most famous people in the country, and multitudes of Americans gathered to see the improbable and the impossible, the exotic and the spectacular.

Producer: Sharon Grimberg, Melissa Martin Pollard, Vanessa Ruiz, Susan Bellows
Executive Producer: Mark Samels
Production Company: A Winter Pink Films Production
Production Year: 2018
Copyright Year: 2018
Rating: TV-PG
Narrator: Michael Murphy
Writers: Sharon Grimberg
Number of Discs: 2
Length: 240 minutes
Subtitled: Y
Subtitle Languages: English (SDH)
Language Track: English
Audio Format: 5.1 Surround
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen

"Illustrating how the circus left is everlasting mark on American culture, this is highly recommended." - Video Librarian


Highlighted Customer Reviews


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Debra reviewed American Experience: The Circus DVD
5.0 star rating
It was a great historical
Review by Debra review stating It was a great historical
It was a great historical video filled with information, much of it I had no idea and it answered questions I did have.
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Georgina reviewed American Experience: The Circus DVD
5.0 star rating
Factual information.
Review by Georgina review stating Factual information.
My husband loved it! His really enjoyed the information about Katie Sandwina. She was one of his favorite female weightlifters from that era. He felt like her story was a validation of what hed been telling people for years. His favorite old time aerialist was also featured. He loved it!!
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Gina reviewed American Experience: The Circus DVD
5.0 star rating
Fascinating!
Review by Gina review stating Fascinating!
If you think you knew all there is to know about the circus--its origins, daily operations, legends, etc.--youre in for quite a surprise as thrilling as the Big Top show itself! I was dubious as to how this documentary series could be more than one episode, but realized that this topic could easily still be continued past the length of this program! Highly recommended for all fans of the circus--come one, come all!

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