One of the prime forces behind the event film, Cecil B. DeMille claimed his 1952 opus was The Greatest Show on Earth because he, grandly, showed audiences the glorious (and sometimes gritty) behind the scenes mechanics of the working circus.
Horror freaks, meanwhile, may call it the greatest show, because it matches up two spectacular presences. Here, Gloria Grahame and Dorothy Lamour play Angel and Phyllis, two sassy performers who antagonize each other with their wordplay, but actually share a true bond due to their deep love of the life of the traveling show.
As many actresses before (and after) them, Grahame and Lamour appeared in a number of terror flicks as their careers waned. Grahame enlivened 1971’s Blood and Lace, 1976’s Mansion of the Doomed and 1981’s The Nesting with her Academy Award winning presence. Lamour, meanwhile, added star power to such offerings as 1976’s Death at Love House and 1987’s Creepshow 2.
As fun as those latter day gothic projects are, it may bring true fans more pure joy to beam back in time and see them here, wrapped in DeMille’s loving gaze, being treated like the extraordinary and otherworldly talents that they truly were.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan.