The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Art of Cinema #101

Circus World
(Henry Hathaway; 1963)


swac said...

Anyone out there ever actually see this?

It's definitely never been high on my list of Wayne priorities...

Tom Sutpen said...

I've seen it a couple of times. It's very much a typical Wayne vehicle of the time (the North to Alaska/McLintock/Donovan's Reef/James Edward Grant paradigm). If you like the Wayne formula . . . and I'll admit I find it not without charm of a sort . . . then you'd probably like Circus World.

Myself, I've always wondered what that film would have been like if Nicholas Ray had stayed on as director.

Anonymous said...

It would have been like 55 Days In Peking, only circusier.

Anonymous said...

Actually, if I'm not mistaken it was Frank Capra set to make this and he left it for Hathaway.

Tom Sutpen said...

Yes and no. Samuel Bronston brought him onto the project after Nick Ray had a heart attack and, according to Capra (never a reliable source, but this seems plausible) he left it when he realized he couldn't work with Wayne. Apparently they detested one another.

I think Wayne was responsible for bringing Hathaway in at that point . . . but don't quote me on that.