Three Ring Circus (Paramount 1954, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis)

Three Ring Circus Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

In Three Ring Circus two job-hungry ex-GIs put their discharge money toward a trip to Florida, where Jerry Hotchkiss (Jerry Lewis) intends to become a clown. His friend, Pete Nelson (Dean Martin), just goes along for the ride, but circus owner Jill Brent (Joanne Dru) catches his eye.

Their circus jobs have Pete assisting a volatile trapeze artist (Zsa Zsa Gabor), while Jerry assists a lion tamer (Sig Ruman). Jerry’s work with the lions is an amusing disaster, but Puffo the Clown’s (Gene Sheldon) alcoholism might enable Jerry to take his place.

Three Ring Circus was the first Jerry Lewis film to feature Kathleen Freeman, who appeared in an uncredited role as the custard victim. She would also appear in one more Martin and Lewis film the following year, Artists and Models (1955), before bearing the comedic brunt of many a Jerry Lewis routine in eight of his films from 1961-1970.

Cast: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Joanne Dru, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Wallace Ford, Sig Rumann, Gene Sheldon, Nick Cravat, Elsa Lanchester

Director: Joseph Pevney
Producer: Hal B. Wallis
Director of Photography: Loyal Griggs
Editor: Warren Low
Composer: Walter Scharf
Screenwriters: Don McGuire, Joseph Pevney
Production Designers: Tambi Larsen, Hal Pereira
Choreographer: Nick Castle

USA / Paramount / 103 minutes / 1954

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