Very simple and straightforward? Maybe, but very subtle too - au cirque, that is. And effective. One of my favorite movies anyway, if maybe a bit over-produced. Summing it up, "That's Show Biz, Folks!" Very hard to get! And my copy is not even letterboxed—be sure you get it in the right format. Contains some of the most impressive camera movements I've seen. This movie really swings.
(If you wonder about that empty trapeze, Burt Lancaster just fell to the ground...) Uncredited, but I always loved these—then finally, almost 50 years later, discovered why.
After having wondered for a very long time about this, I pass the problem on to You, Dear Reader. It's about two 'extra' roles in the movie, which I suspect to have been played by crew members. Have a look at these photographs of music conductor Muir Mathieson and director of photography Robert Krasker, and compare them with two guys in the movie: The conductor in the pre-title opening sequence, and a circus light technician. Are they the same persons?