Film: 6478

Entertainment + Leisure | 1940 | Silent | B/W


Neon lit advertisement showing the figure of a clown juggling and the words: 'Bertram Mills Circus - Olympia Grand Hall' 1940's

Inter-title (with cartoon clown): The Grand Parade starts the show.
Circus people enter the big top arena from the wings; riders,cowgirls,strong-men, horse-drawn carriage, white horses, chimpanzee, dwarf on a miniature pony, elephants, clown with toy dog, fairy-lit horse-drawn carriage.

Inter-title: Rudy Horn. The 18 year old Wonder Juggler-
A boy in shiny shirt and shorts stands in the spotlight. He steps back and forth rapidly on the spot to create a rhythm, whilst bouncing balls off a drum. It is extremely fast and precise. He juggles many hoops and catches them on his arms. He juggles special clubs standing up and then lying down. He rides a uni-cycle with one foot on the pedal and the other flipping cups with saucers, that have been place there, up on to a pile on his head. A very impressive trick. The audience clap, he exits.

Inter-titles: Shaggy Bear Antics on Scooters and Motorbikes-
A brown bear pushes himself on a scooter around a mat in the centre of the circus space. Two keepers/trainers are with him in the space. One removes the scooter while the bear 'dances 'on his hind legs. The bear is seated on motorcycle. He rides around the space in a circle.

Inter-title: The Clowns provide bucketsful of Laughter
A clown pours a bucket of water in the face of another. He squirts from his mouth, a jet of water, into the other's face; steps into the empty bucket and hurts his foot. A Pierrot-type clown looks on and points in alarm. One pours water onto another from on top of a ladder. There is a lot of splashing and slipping on the watery mat and more pouring from the ladder.

Inter-title: The Unforgettable Elephants. Even jumbo can be graceful-
Six elephants walk around the centre circle with a trainer watching them. Two elephants on each side of the space stand on a small platform on their back legs and face the other two. The middle two rest their front legs on a smaller elephant in the centre and the outside two rest their front legs on the middle two. The trainer stands on the back of the small centre elephant. An elephant mimics having a lame leg. Four elephants do the same in a line facing the trainer. The four are in a circle on their side; they stand up together. The walk out of the space in a line with their front legs resting on the back of the one in front.

The same neon-lit 'Bertram Mills' sign from the start of the film.

Inter-title: Freddie Knie and his White Lippizana Horses-
Two lines of six white horses trot around the space with Freddie in the centre in dinner-jacket. The break into a gallop. They reform into one long line. They change direction in unison. One horse gallops around the circle, jumping through hoops with paper covering them; ripping them as he goes. Freddie controls two horses that are walking on their hind legs out of the space.

Inter-title: Flying Trapeze Artistes who defy the Law of Gravity-
Two men stand on poles several metres apart and throw a lady in a leotard to one another. A man swings on a trapeze as two other men stand on a high platform of roughly the same height off the ground. As the trapeze man swings towards the platform, one man swings off the platform on another trapeze, lets go and is caught by the first man. They swing together and the caught man is released back onto his trapeze and then back onto the platform.

Inter-title: Bertram Mills Chimps. Fun and Games with the Jungle Juniors-
Two chimps walk on a high horizontal wire. One has been put in a dress, the other in male clothes. One swings on the wire. Three chimps play leap frog. One pushes another around in a baby's pram; eventually the pram falls over as it is pushed off the centre stage. A chimp rides around on a small bike with stabilizers. Chimps perform in a band. The trainer hugs all of them and carries them off.

Inter-title:Cavallini's Crazy Car Troubles with Tin-Lizzy-
Two women in 'Turn of the Century' dress stand in the centre of the space and wave as a car drives in- a Model T Ford , but quite bashed up. Thus follows a fast, slap-stick acrobatic car routine. There is much rushing about with luggage and trying to get in and out of the car but falling off. The engine explodes and the back seat of the car falls out with people on it.

Inter-title: Trubka the Master Trainer. Mixed Group of Lions and Tigers-
A large cage has been put around the centre space. Lions and tigers enter the space and stand on platforms. The trainer gets them to position and pose on a climbing frame arch. Both a lion and a tiger jump from platform to platform around the circle and through hoops that the trainer holds in-between. A lion jumps over a tiger and a lion standing next to each other. A tiger balances on a pole, walking along it. A row of alternate lions and tigers lie on the ground and scratch/nuzzle the one behind.

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