The Greatest Showman

I saw The Greatest Showman this week and it is amazing!  It is the best movie I’ve seen in a long, long time.  I felt invested in the story almost immediately and was surprised to find myself on the edge of my seat a few times with a bit of anxiety over how things would turn out.  I went with a girlfriend because Honey and John had no interest.  I wasn’t sure about Whit but after seeing it I think a few parts would have been too scary for him (not in a action or guns or horror sort of way, but he is pretty sensitive and really perceptive and I think a few scenes would have been upsetting for him.  *trying not to give it all away for those that have not seen it*)

I promptly downloaded the soundtrack and have really enjoyed that as well.  I have two PT Barnum biographies in my Amazon cart but can’t decide if they will be good.  If anyone has read one, I’d love to know.  (I’m looking at Barnum’s Own Story and The Life of PT Barnum.)

Not only was the movie just good, but it made me think.  If there is any truth to the story, society was outraged at the advent of Barnum’s circus over the glamorization of the unique individuals (Dog Man, the tallest man, Bearded Lady, trapeze artists, conjoined twins, etc.) hired by Barnum.  In that time, they were confined to their homes or institutions and shunned by society.  Flash forward a century and a half and society was outraged over the animals in the circus.  I have no intention of starting a debate and have no first hand knowledge of how the people OR the animals were treated.  I just thought it was an interesting observation.  I guess it made me realize that while I feel like “society” can never agree today and “everyone” is outraged over something, times were really not much different back then.  In 2018, you can just make a much louder stand than in 1875.  Also, it made me a little remorseful that kids any younger than John will likely have no memory of ever going to the circus.  I still remember going as a child, and Mother says she remembers her parents taking her as child.  It was unbelievably wonderful and amazing, and seeing things that seem impossible are inspiring and joyful. I wish there had been a happy medium.

Download 3 Free Printable Quotes from the Movie HERE!


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16 thoughts on “The Greatest Showman

  1. I regret that we never took our kids to see Barnum’s circus. Loved the movie, too, and I’ve been listening to the soundtrack nonstop since seeing the movie.

  2. We just went to see the movie tonight and wow – it was so good!! Haven’t downloaded the music yet but I will. I don’t know much about Barnum either, but I suspect it wasn’t quite like the movie. I enjoyed it for the beautiful production and I think it gives lots to talk about with kids. I, too, enjoyed the circus as a little girl. I grew up near the home of the Ringling Brothers so it was a large part of my childhood. I know we took our girls once for sure. I didn’t even realize until doing a little online research that the circus had ended. ☹️

    1. I suspect the same, which is why I can’t seem to pick a book or decide if it’s even a good idea. :-)

  3. If you have a chance, you need to visit the Ringling Brothers Museum in Sarasota, FL. Every part of it, from the museum and gardens to the miniature circus (miniature in size but certainly not in scope, it takes every bit of an hour or more to view it) is fascinating to adults and children alike (probably not the museum as much to kids, of course ;-) ). I heard several children, who had never been to a circus asking their parents if the miniature was “real”, as in a real spectacle that had actually been huge and taken place as it is depicted. I agree it is such a shame that it was an all or nothing decision.
    I LOVED The Greatest Showman and, like you, was drawn in from the first moment. The songs, the costumes, the characters all combined to make it a wonderful film. My only criticism was that there were almost too many story lines so several parts felt rushed and several parts felt under portrayed. But I still LOVED it.

  4. I’ve considered seeing this and am glad to hear your first-hand review.

    In the mid-60’s, my class went on a field trip to the Indianapolis Shrine Circus and I remember how thrilling it all was. My favorite part was seeing Ricky Nelson as an acrobat!! Ricky Nelson!! You girls my age will appreciate that! ;-)

    Yes, times have changed, for better and for worse, with a lot of simple fun missing. I’m so happy you could relive that!

    1. Jane,
      I thought Ricky Nelson was the best looking boy & man there ever was! I never knew he was an acrobat in the circus.

    2. Jane, I too loved Ricky Nelson. He was my early heart throb. So sad that many talented ones died in plane crashes back then.

  5. I wasn’t decided if this movie was one I would like but after your review I think both my husband and I would enjoy it. He talks a lot about going to visit his aunt and uncle in Sarasota when he was young and visiting the museum and circus. I am grateful that we and our children got experience the circus.

    I realize that times and peoples views change but it does make me sad to think the circus couldn’t have reinvented itself someway to appeal to younger generations and times.

  6. Loved the movie! The only movie, in my entire life, that I’ve been to see twice in the theater. It captivated me from the first second, when he struck that pose to the very end. The dancing, singing, acting, visuals, costumes and the story are exceptional. I’ve been trying to tell everyone I know to go see it before it leaves the theater. I too immediately downloaded the soundtrack.

    1. I went to this circus years ago in Savannah. I think they were just starting out. We used special funds to take a number of public school classes to see it. Then classroom teachers followed up with writing experiences. It was great!

  7. Going to the circus and the state fair with my family each year was the highlight of my childhood growing up on a farm! Even during lean times, my dad would always find a way for us to attend….and I can remember the smell, going early to watch the elephants march into the coliseum, and finally climbing into my seat to watch the Greatest Show on Earth. We took our children often when they were small but by then the world was a much more accessible place and didn’t seem to hold the thrill for them that it did for me. After your review, I am definitely going to watch this on the big screen!

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