7.1/10
877
23 user 6 critic

Salto des doods (1953)

Man on a Tightrope (original title)
Czech circus owner-Clown and his entire troupe employ a daring stratagem in order to escape en masse from behind the iron curtain.

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writers:

Neil Paterson (story "International Incident"), Robert E. Sherwood
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Pinky (1949)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A light-skinned African American woman falls in love with a white doctor, though he is unaware of her true race.

Directors: Elia Kazan, John Ford
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Waters
Boomerang! (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The true story of a prosecutor's fight to prove the innocence of a man accused of a notorious murder.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Dana Andrews, Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

On America's frontier, a St. Louis woman marries a New Mexico cattleman who is seen as a tyrant by the locals.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Robert Walker
Wild River (1960)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A TVA bureaucrat comes to the river to do what none of his predecessors have been able to do - evict a stubborn octogenarian from her island before the rising waters engulf her.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Lee Remick, Jo Van Fleet
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, James Dunn
Certificate: 18 Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A suicidal advertising executive is forced to re-evaluate his life while dealing with his unhappy marriage, his mistress, and his aging father.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Faye Dunaway, Deborah Kerr
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A doctor and a policeman in New Orleans have only 48 hours to locate a killer infected with pneumonic plague.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes
Viva Zapata! (1952)
Certificate: 12 Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who led a rebellion against the corrupt, oppressive dictatorship of president Porfirio Diaz in the early 20th century.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Peters, Anthony Quinn
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An Arkansas drifter becomes an overnight media sensation. As he becomes drunk with fame and power, will he ever be exposed as the fraud he has become?

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa
Certificate: 14 Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young Anatolian Greek, entrusted with his family's fortune, loses it en route to Istanbul and dreams of going to the United States.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Stathis Giallelis, Frank Wolff, Elena Karam
Baby Doll (1956)
Certificate: 18 Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A steamy tale of two Southern rivals and a sensuous nineteen-year-old virgin.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach
The Visitors (1972)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Bill, Martha and their little child Hal are spending a quiet winter Sunday in their cosy house when they get an unexpected visit from Mike Nickerson and Tony Rodriguez. Mike and Tony are ... See full summary »

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Patrick McVey, Patricia Joyce, James Woods
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fredric March ... Karel Cernik
Terry Moore ... Tereza Cernik
Gloria Grahame ... Zama Cernik
Cameron Mitchell ... Joe Vosdek
Adolphe Menjou ... Fesker
Robert Beatty ... Barovic
Alexander D'Arcy ... Rudolph (as Alex D'Arcy)
Richard Boone ... Krofta
Pat Henning Pat Henning ... Konradin
Paul Hartman ... Jaremir
John Dehner ... The Chief
Edit

Storyline

In 1950s Czechoslovakia circus manager Karel Cernik is planning an escape from Communism to freedom.His idea is to force his way across the guarded border using his entire circus.Three years in the making his idea is ready to be tested when he's suddenly summoned to a Secret Police routine questioning about his circus' program.To Cernik it's clear that he has an informer among his staff who reports his activities and private talks to the Secret Police. The Americans are just across the river in a nearby border village but Cernik needs a special permit from the Secret Police allowing his circus freedom of movement in the border areas to perform his shows.This hard to get permit is vital to his escape plan.To make matters worse his wife is being unfaithful, his daughter has fallen in love with the new stables boy,his circus is falling apart and his longtime rival, Barovik, wants to take over Cernik's circus. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The headline-hot drama of how a whole circus escaped the hand of terror !

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

14 | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | West Germany

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

12 February 1954 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Salto des doods See more »

Filming Locations:

Fall, Bavaria, Germany See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Marlene Dietrich turned down the role that eventually went to Gloria Grahame. See more »

Goofs

When Fredric March is being interrogated, the inkwell in front of him is uncovered, when the camera switches between him & his interrogator, the inkwell's cover is on. See more »

Quotes

Rudolph: [to Cernik] The curse of my life is that I'm a handsome man.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Masters: None Without Sin (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Light Cavalry Overture
(uncredited)
Music by Franz von Suppé
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The rare sleeper, a hidden gem
24 July 2003 | by brower8See all my reviews

Sleeper classics are rare. Esthetics do not change, but politics do. This movie has a political message -- that communism is horrible, and that life under communism is bare existence. That was not enough for the McCarthy Era, and this movie falls short of the standard anti-communist diatribe of its kind. The view of someone like Vaclav Havel that communism was mere degradation of people and the imposition of an absurd order was not "hard-line" enough for the McCarthy Era.

This movie shows a more subtle critique of communism than the usual apocalyptic view of saber-rattling generals and madman tyrants. Czechoslovakia could have been the shopfront for communism because it wasn't as ravaged by World War II as were some other countries, and the Soviets didn't treat it as a conquered province grafted onto its empire. The country was prosperous before World War II and had a democratic government for twenty years after World War I. Even in Czechoslovakia, the communists imposed one degradation after another upon the people while promoting itself with demagogic rhetoric that communism was the desire of the working man -- except that nobody had the right to say "no" anymore. The communists nationalized Cernik's circus, only to pay him a very generous salary as compensation as a manager of a state enterprise; then they made the money worthless through currency "reforms" that pauperized all but the communists and enriched the communists. Sudden horror and slow degradation lead to the same misery, only at different rates.

Politics aside, this is a good adventure film with some comic elements as the circus crew fights among itself to seek escape from the madhouse (note that Milos Forman said that his image of an asylum for the insane was much like his native Czechoslovakia in comments on "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

Too subtle for the 1950's, it got lost. In the cable-TV era "movie archive" channels try out some lost movies and occasionally find a gem. This one is a gem.


30 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed