3 RING CIRCUS
(director: Joseph Pevney; screenwriter: story & screenplay Don McGuire; cinematographer: Loyal Griggs; editor: Warren Low; music: Walter Sharf; cast: Jerry Lewis (Jerome “Jerry” X. Hotchkiss), Dean Martin (Pete Nelson), Joanne Dru (Jill Brent), Zsa Zsa Gabor (Saadia ), Elsa Lanchester (The Bearded Lady), Sig Ruman (Col. Schlitz), Gene Sheldon (Puffo the Wonder Clown), Wallace Ford (Sam Morley); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hal B. Wallis; Paramount; 1954)
“Martin and Lewis could have used fresh material.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Joseph Pevney(“Cash McCall”/”The Plunderers”) stiffly directs a film based on the uninspired story and screenplay by Don McGuire. Martin and Lewis could have could have used fresh material. Lewis’s funniest bit is making faces at the lions. His most sentimental is taking over for a fired jealous clown and making a sad crippled girl smile.
The laid back Dean Martin and the bumbling Jerry Lewis are buddies discharged from the army and join the circus to get some traveling money. Lewis is a lion tamer’s assistant in the hope of becoming a clown. Martin becomes the assistant to the moody trapeze artist Zsa Zsa Gabor, and must fight off her advances. Joanne Dru is the circus owner’s lovesick daughter, who desires Martin. She allows Martin to run the struggling circus in fear he would otherwise leave.Wallace Ford is the gruff but sympathetic circus manager. This is a typical Martin and Lewis comedy, except it seems worse. Though small children might be attracted to the many circus acts.
REVIEWED ON 4/6/2017 GRADE: C