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Movies: “Circus World”

June 25, 1964 - Opening today is “Circus World,” a drama Western film starring John Wayne, Claudia Cardinale, and Rita Hayworth. It was directed by Henry Hathaway, with a screenplay by Ben Hecht, Julian Zimet, and James Edward Grant from a story by Bernard Gordon and Nicholas Ray.

The idea for “Circus World” originated from Gordon. Ray was initially assigned to direct the project until he suffered a heart attack while filming last year’s “55 Days at Peking.” He was replaced by Frank Capra, who later entered into creative differences with Grant and Wayne. By last summer, Capra was replaced with Henry Hathaway. Filming commenced last September and concluded in February.

Wayne plays circus proprietor Matt Masters. When Masters decides to take his show on a European tour, it is beset by various problems. While in Europe, Masters searches for Lili (Hayworth), the mother of his adopted daughter (Cardinale), who disappeared years before.

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