Greatest Show On Earth, The

Featured In Issue 255, May/June 2021

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Cecil B. DeMille
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DTS HD Lossless 2.0
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Legendary Director Cecil B. DeMille's grand spectacle "The Greatest Show On Earth" is a two-time Academy Award® winner, including Best Picture, which captures the thrills, chills and exhilaration of the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. Featuring three intertwining plotlines filled with romance and rivalry, the film includes spectacular action sequences, including a show-stopping train wreck. This is part of the Paramount Presents line. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a new Filmmaker Focus with film historian Leonard Maltin, exploring the making of the film and its reception (HD 07:42), as well as a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 1.37:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed on film stock using the Technicolor (3-strip) camera system and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture ha been newly restored from a 4K scan of the original 35 mm negative. The picture is pleasantly filmic. It's sharp and clear with little in the way of objectionable grain. The Technicolor color reproduction is nicely saturated with a wide range of vivid red, white and blue hues, particularly expressed in the costumes and varied objects under the Big Top. Fleshtones appear strongly hued. Contrast is generally good with decent black levels, shadow delineation and white levels. Resolution exhibits fine detail throughout across the imagery. This is a classic that delivers a quality, but dated, picture experience. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 2.0-channel monaural soundtrack is generally undistinguished with compressed audio. There is no real low-end extension, even when the circus trains crash. The music is limited in fidelity. Crowd applause during performances is wanting of clarity. Dialogue, however, is clear and intelligible throughout. Overall, the soundtrack is serviceable, though, constrained to dated recording technology. (Gary Reber)