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
Narrator: Michael Murphy
Writers: Sharon Grimberg
Number of Discs: 2
Length: 240 minutes
Subtitle Languages: English (SDH)
Language Track: English
Audio Format: 5.1 Surround
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
VIDEO USAGE RIGHTS
Why the AV version? Because it provides additional usage options for PBS videos. AV versions come with limited performance rights so they can be shown in classrooms, at PTA meetings, during after school programs, and transmitted on a closed-circuit system within a building or on a single campus. They also can be enjoyed in admission-free public screenings, which also makes them ideal for use by library patrons and businesses involved in community clubs and organizations.