3 Ring Circus, Jerry and Pete are two friends with no money, looking for some job. They finally find one as workers in a circus, but Jerry has different dreams. He wants to become a clown.
Colorful but dated
There are some strange echoes of the real-life bust-up between Martin and Lewis in the script. It’s saddled with Jerry’s sincere but misguided belief that he is a natural clown and screen heir to Emmett Kelly, who’s makeup he closely resembles in some scenes, imitation being flattery I guess. The buddies, newly discharged from the army and penniless head for the circus where Jerry, longing to become a clown instead has to apply to be a trainee lion tamer (as if..) the usual water-squirting elephants and disgruntled, drunken clown lead us to the case-inducing finale when Jerry as the clown succeeds in making a sad little girl (in leg irons, yet)smile at his tears. For 1954 audiences I’m sure it was a pleasant break from post-war blues but it’s well past its sell-by date. TRIVIA: Unless I’m much mistaken the sequence where Dean Martin does acrobatics on some low bars is doubled by Nick Cravat who appears elsewhere in the film and was an acrobatic partner of Burt Lancaster.
The clown and Mr Martin
Jerry Lewis plays Jerome F. ‘Jerry’ Hotchkiss and Dean Martin is Peter ‘Pete’ Nelson, two friends who find work at the circus. Jerry’s dream is to become a master clown, which he did become in real life. Joseph Pevney’s 3 Ring Circus offers something for the Martin and Lewis fans they’re asking for. Jerry is as zany and funny as always and Dean is as smooth and wonderful as he ever was. There are also stars like Kathleen Freeman and Zza Zza Gabor in the movie.I saw this movie in 1998 and I would like to see it again, as I would like to see a bunch of other Jerry Lewis films. This is the day when Jerry Lewis turns 80 years old. He still hasn’t fully retired. On IMDb, it said he’s making a cameo in a movie called Horrorween, which comes out next year. He also wrote a book called Dean and Me: A Love Story. You should all read it. I sure would if only I could find it from this country. This grand old man has made so many people laugh over the years that all I can say to him is thank you. Laughter is something we all need these days.