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      Man on a Tightrope

      Released Apr 1, 1953 1h 45m Drama List
      Reviews 78% Audience Score 50+ Ratings Karel Cernik (Fredric March) is the owner of a small Czech circus that's been in his family for generations. When the Communists take over, officials begin to dictate almost every aspect of how the tight-knit group can operate. Karel's wife, Zama (Gloria Grahame), becomes increasingly frustrated with the restricted situation, and Karel must struggle to find a way to to escape Communist rule by fleeing the country so that the circus can thrive again. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (4) Critics Reviews
      Bob Thomas Associated Press Man on a Tightrope is a rare attraction a movie with a message that is entertaining as well. Jun 24, 2019 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Director Elia Kazan limns his characters with proper mood and shade, as the red-tape of the Reds becomes mountingly obstructive. Feb 23, 2012 Full Review Clyde Gilmour Maclean's Magazine The efforts of a Czech circus owner and his discontented wife to escape through the Iron Curtain are the basis of an intelligent thriller. Jan 8, 2020 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Writer Robert E. Sherwood never gets the screenplay to gracefully walk across the tightrope. Rated: C+ Oct 12, 2011 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (10) audience reviews
      nick s An entertaining watch with some great set pieces. Acting was excellent. It was based on a real event in East Germany, but I'm sure it was spiced up a lot with the action sequences. From a storytelling perspective I wished the characters had explained their plans a little better. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 05/14/24 Full Review Anthony J Dated and hokey, but nonetheless entertaining despite the heavy-handed 'message' that Communism is bad and kills even the joy a circus can bring. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/03/24 Full Review Douglas P Not a ' Masterpiece' but Tightly-made and worth a Watch by Students of the PostWar period in Eastern Europe...the Cast under Kazan have done a Sterling job...a Great Director. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 11/21/22 Full Review huck d Just off the chart. This completely unknown Elia Kazan masterpiece takes us behind the Iron Curtain when your every thought was monitored and controlled by a soulless inhuman apparatachik who demanded your obedience --- even if you were just a circus performer. Fredrick March gives a multidimensional and inspirational performance as he plays the once circus owner, before it was confiscated by the state. The state has so much fear of a good man, an honest man, that they need to control him, his thoughts, right down to his clown performance. Every second on that screen was a harrowing reminder of what life was like behind the Iron Curtain, and what could be again. Amazingly, this is filmed on location, and the actual Cernik Circus performers play their parts in the movie. Without a doubt, a must-watch for anyone who understand the value of freedom and those who love a superbly crafted story brought to life as only Elia Kazan could. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review jim b Outdated, boring as hell. Almost fell asleep watching it. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Compelling screenplay, but several of the performances are stilted and stagey. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Karel Cernik (Fredric March) is the owner of a small Czech circus that's been in his family for generations. When the Communists take over, officials begin to dictate almost every aspect of how the tight-knit group can operate. Karel's wife, Zama (Gloria Grahame), becomes increasingly frustrated with the restricted situation, and Karel must struggle to find a way to to escape Communist rule by fleeing the country so that the circus can thrive again.
      Director
      Elia Kazan
      Production Co
      Twentieth Century Fox, Bavaria Film
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Apr 1, 1953, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 18, 2012
      Runtime
      1h 45m
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