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Ringling Brothers Kings of the Circus

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Ringling Brothers Kings of the Circus [Documentary] (2000)
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Ringling Brothers Kings of the Circus [Documentary] (2000)


In short, Ringling Brothers Kings of the Circus is a very enjoyable documentary about the founding of the Ringling Brothers circus by the five founding Ringling Brothers. It’s interesting, with lots of pieces of information that I’d either forgotten or simply never knew. In fact, I have only two issues with it:

  1. It’s short — only 46 minutes long. The positive side of that is that it’s short enough to keep interest.
  2. It’s dated. It was released in 2000, which really shouldn’t be a problem. The issue is, there are multiple scenes of thecurrent” Ringling Brothers circus, continuing the tradition. Of course, the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus has closed in the last year or so, making those happy memories somewhat bittersweet.

Having said that, I enjoyed Kings of the Circus very much. I have Amazon Prime, and so I was able to enjoy it at no additional cost. It’s also available on DVD — but I can’t see paying $47.00 for it (at the time of this writing). But, to each their own.

Update: There’s now a version available at Amazon for under $20.00. Having said that, I wouldn’t pay that for a short documentary, either. But, that’s me.

Editorial review, courtesy of

Their story is as amazing as the circus itself, how five poor boys from Baraboo, Wisconsin became “kings of the circus when the circus was king.” This virtual trip to the circus with today’s Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey, the Greatest Show on Earth, takes a nostalgic trip through the creation of the greatest entertainment empire the world has ever seen.

Updated December 18, 2021

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