Trapeze is a high-flying screen entertainment equipped with circus thrills and excitement, a well-handled romantic triangle, and a cast of potent marquee names. Cirque d’Hiver, Paris’ famed one-ring circus, provides the authentic, colorful, exciting setting.
Reed’s direction loads the aerial scenes with story suspense for even more thrill effect, and male stars Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis simulate the bigtop aristocrats realistically.
The well-plotted script, from Liam O’Brien’s adaptation of Max Catto’s novel The Killing Frost, tells how Curtis, son of an aerialist, comes to Paris to learn from Lancaster, one of the few fliers able to achieve the triple somersault, a feat which had left him crippled. Together, they start to work up an act when the tumbler moves in, using her wiles on the young man but loving the older.
Gina Lollobrigida, justly famed for her curves, proves she can act, giving the necessary touch of flamboyance without going overboard. Katy Jurado lights up what scenes she has.