Art Vs Commerce: Musicals, Bible Stories, and Bad Choices (1950s)

WHOA, OH OH-OH OH (Thump. Thump thump.)

1952

WHOA, OH OH-OH OH (Thump. Thump thump.)

The Joint Champion

WHOA, OH OH-OH OH (Thump. Thump thump.)

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WHOA, OH OH-OH OH

Readers and fans, this is a moment I’ve waited for
(WHOA, OH OH-OH OH)
No bibles and no swords, is it an epic to adore?
(WHOA, OH OH-OH OH)
It’s from Cecil B. DeMille, he’s usually not a bore.
Charlton Heston, Jimmy Stewart,
A circus epic to make you hurt.

There’s lions, secret killers, and also mobsters
Love drama running through every tent and boxcar
Abused animals, try not to think about it
Anything from the past is problematic.

It’s colour, it’s tigers, nearly three damn hours
There’s a story but the overacting overpowers
Over every other film in ’51 it towers
But should it though?
That is what I wanna know!

The Oscars made a big to-do
And the audiences flocked to it too
Cecil B. DeMille wants to give you a thrill
OH, IT’S ’51’s GREATEST SHOW

But the circus should be live
On film it just cannot thrive
There isn’t much ado, when not right in front of you
So, is it the greatest show?

Three slow plots in need of a solid third act
(WHOA, OH OH-OH OH)
Trapezists can’t act, that sadly is a fact

The flying, the clowning, it all ends up neutered
The only good acting comes from Jimmy Stewart
Film mimics acrobatics but it all comes out stale,
It’s why there’s no movie with Cirque du Soleil!

Don’t get me started on that asshole Klaus
His creepy lusting he just couldn’t dowse
Became a monster, teamed with the mobsters
Oh, a minor part of the show.

I tuned out during every parade
All the drama scenes were overplayed
Endless circus scenes, lots of bad green screens
Oh, could be a better show.

Chuck Heston’s legacy
Is fighting against gun control
But even putting that aside,
This isn’t his greatest show.
I guess it’s what the crowds might want
But Oscar gold it didn’t need
Gary Cooper had been in High Noon
This is where they chose to be

This was a so-so show!

[Ahem]

Anyway.

And Rotten Tomatoes Says: At only 42%, it’s ranked 92 out of 93, beating only The Broadway Melody. Seems a little harsh, but simply put?
My review didn’t err, with me they do concur.
No. It wasn’t the greatest show.

Okay actually done now.

But Why Not…? I’d rather have talked about High Noon with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly, but no.

Other Events in Film

  • A little musical called Singin’ in the Rain, maybe you’ve heard of it.
  • High Noon didn’t get the big prize, but it won an Oscar for star Gary Cooper, while John Ford managed to steal the directing trophy from DeMille with The Quiet Man.
  • The sci-fi serial Zombies of the Stratosphere, starring a young Leonard Nimoy, premiered in 1952. Its jetpack-sporting lead would later be known as Commando Cody, but in this his superhero name is just “Larry,” and when I saw this in the 90s I found that hilarious. Anyway it was important to me that you know about this serial.

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