‘The Greatest Showman’ 2017 Movie: Great Entertainment, But Factually Bunkum.
The official trailer on YouTube.
A 70% full theater, at a Thursday afternoon 4:30pm matinee, at the “Regal 10” in Concord, burst into appreciative applause when the end credits came on. People liked it and it was easy to do so. P.T. Barnum would have been happy, he made a lot of people, including quite a few kids, v. happy — after Christmas on a bitterly cold day.
Great yarn, superbly told — and again P.T. would have been happy.
You can watch it (like most good movies) at different levels. It does address some social issues and it was interesting to see folks protesting his circus 120-years ago — given the protest endured by the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus, which eventually resulted in them literally folding their tent, sadly, this year. Ironic that this movie came out this year — 7-months after the last performance of his namesake circus (and we did attend one of the very last shows, having been annual fans for nearly 10-years).
Prior to this movie I did NOT know much about P.T. Barnum other than his fame as a showman, creator of a circus and some of the famous saying attributed to him, in particular: “there is a sucker born every minute“. So, I had assumed, per the billings, that this was meant to be autobiographical.
Early on I started to get uneasy. Some stuff did NOT gel. There was an implication that the word ‘circus’ was not common currency c. 1835. That bothered me since I knew that the Romans, of antiquity, had their circus. Then there was this Carlyle character that became his partner. Well have YOU heard of a circus called “Barnum & Carlyle“? Of course you have NOT because there never was one. It was “Barnum & Bailey“. There is NO mention of Bailey in the movie.
So, when I got home I did a quick butchers of Wikipedia. Oh, dear! The movie is nowhere CLOSE to accurate. SHAME. P.T. was even more of an intriguing character than the one portrayed. That is a shame.
So, while I enjoyed the movie I now feel ‘cheated’ — BUT Barnum would approve. C’est la vie.
Definitely worth watching. But keep in mind it is NOT a true story — one that borrows SOME elements from reality.
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