When the Circus Came to Town (TV Movie 1981) Poster

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Where, oh where, have the great late-night TV movies gone?
bronty2 December 2004
Originally broadcast as a "Movie of the Week" by CBS in 1981, "When The Circus Came to Town" is a thoughtful, lovely, quiet film about a woman nearing middle age, bored with a sheltered and sterile life, who suddenly decides to leave home and join the circus when it comes to her small town. In the process, her eyes are finally opened to life, for better and for worse, but she is awakened and, ultimately, content. Elizabeth Montgomery gives yet another of her patented superior performances; there isn't a false note. She is helped enormously by supporting players, sure-handed direction, and the kind of TV-movie writing that has sadly and completely disappeared over the years. Also to be lauded is the fact that this is the only film involving circus life in which its denizens aren't portrayed as sleazy, oversexed losers or out-and-out scumbags, though they ARE outside the "norm". It is refreshing to see a sensitive viewpoint. For all these reasons, this was quite a successful broadcast for CBS, and was thereafter often found on many a late-night-movie schedule, back in the days when they HAD late-night-movie schedules. Alas, those days are long gone and many worthwhile TV films from the Golden Age of the TV Movie - the 70's & early 80's - have disappeared altogether, without even the benefit of a video release. Such a shame. Perhaps amongst the glut of DVD's being released this, too, will find a new home and audience. It certainly deserves as much.
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Great TV movie about a small-town woman and the circus.
poppylet21 September 2013
I had the opportunity to see this movie several years ago and have hoped to see it again, but as it is a made-for-TV-movie, we may not have that opportunity. This was a quiet movie but very profound. It about when the circus came to a small town and a woman who had always lived there and lived a normal, every day, routine life, went to the circus and decided to join it. This was quite a leap for a person like her, so it seems she must have been bored with her life and the every day goings on in her world. I am a Christopher Plummer fan and enjoy watching him every chance I get. It's too bad if this movie is not released on DVD.
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The Circus Life is Reality for Some!
JLRMovieReviews12 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Elizabeth Montgomery has always been a homebody here in this television movie, taking care of her mother. But when her mother dies and the circus come through town on the same day, she goes to see it and in her mixed feelings of exasperation and loss, she leaves town with it, for a chance to breathe and live, daring to dream. She meets Christopher Plummer, who's the ring master. She befriends him which may led to more, but she also makes friends in the least likely of places. Learning about herself and that life doesn't change unless you make a change, she grows up more in middle age than she had ever before in her maturing years. In my quest to see Elizabeth Montgomery's films, I discover this rare treat, a fun and creative film, that wasn't melodramatic and/or depressing. This is a very special film to see, and it was very special to Ms. Montgomery. I hope someone else finds this wonderful film.
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