Movies for the Rest of Us with Bill Newcott: The Greatest Show on Earth

Film critic Bill Newcott takes a look at the new Blu-ray release of Cecil B. DeMille’s epic, The Greatest Show on Earth starring Charlton Heston, and talks with Heston’s son Fraser about his father’s work in DeMille’s spectacles.

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Featured image: Scene from The Greatest Show on Earth (Paramount Home Entertainment)

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  1. Thanks for this special look back at a truly wonderful film from Hollywood’s Golden Age. This is one of Charlton Heston’s finest films as well as Mr. DeMille’s. It’s a very multi-layered story film with some of Hollywood’s finest actors of the time. Betty Hutton is incredible here, and the chemistry she had with Heston is probably the best aspect of all that ran through the course of the film.

    The fact circuses such as this are gone now in many ways is a sad thing, for it truly is unmatched as a live entertainment event. The behind the scenes cruelty/animal abuse though had to stop, and and should have much earlier of course. That though has really nothing to do though with this film not being appreciated as it should be.

    I appreciate Fraser Heston’s insights, as only he would have, to give an even further well balanced look at this tremendous film. For those that would have the stupidity to say this film is the worst film to win ever a Best Picture Oscar are very ignorant, if not brain dead. I’d love to know WHEN that was said by the way.

    The parallels between the old time circuses and the movie industry both having gone beyond their expiration dates is glaringly obvious. The latter has been running on fumes for years with only the very occasional worthy film for theaters. Worthy films that ARE being produced today, are being done for at home viewing by the likes of Netflix.

    This was true WELL before the pandemic. The public is tired (and should be) of the whole awards show pomp & circumstances of the same worn-out red carpet, look-alike, sound-alike actors that aren’t any better than most average Americans at all. In many cases, far less so! Let the ratings for these awards shows continue to plummet to the point of finally being only bottom line, straight forward, one hour shows honoring only films for the rest of us.

    To put it another way, honoring the movies and music (Grammy’s) of today is like having a comparable TV spectacle for today’s boring SUV’s, trucks, crossovers, 4-door rent-a-car style sedans and more mind-numbing transportation appliances. The comparison couldn’t be more spot-on except for ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes” of course.


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