Rent Trapeze (1956)

3.5 of 5 from 65 ratings
1h 42min
Rent Trapeze Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Gina Lollobrigida star as a triangle of lovers in this powerful drama set against the magnificent background of a European circus. Filmed on location in Paris, Trapeze has been acclaimed as one of the most spectacular and authentic circus movies ever made.
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Max Catto, Liam O'Brien
10 Films to Watch if You Like The Greatest Showman, Films to Watch If You Like..., Getting to Know..., Getting to Know: Burt Lancaster, Getting to Know: Sidney James

1956 Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Actor

Release Date:
Run Time:
102 minutes
English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
Dutch, English Hard of Hearing, Greek
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
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Reviews (1) of Trapeze

Swingers. - Trapeze review by Steve

Spoiler Alert

This transfers the conventions of the sport film to a circus. Burt Lancaster plays an embittered, alcoholic former trapeze flyer who was grounded after an accident attempting the ultimate, the triple somersault. Tony Curtis is the young gun who arrives in Paris to learn the triple off the master, and perhaps save him from self destruction.

They are joined by another archetype. Gina Lollobrigida is a hot tempered Italian acrobat who wants to break into their team. She gets between the two men and threatens the purity their act with her showbiz glamour. They become a threesome in the air and on the ground. The implication of homosexuality between the men is subdued, but still present.

It's the best circus film there is. While it is full of genre clichés (we don't get a sad clown) these are made fun by great star performances, and spectacular action photography, in Technicolor. Carol Reed captures the flaking exoticism of the ring and the seediness of their assignations in trashy Parisian hotels. It's a sexy melodrama.

Gina is fabulous in her sequinned leotards. The sassy dialogue uses the ecstasy of the high wire act as ominous innuendo for sex, which makes the film feel quite noirish. Maybe not one of (former trapeze artist) Burt Lancaster's more prestigious roles, but it's entertaining and a reminder of his imposing physicality and athleticism.

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