Here’s the good news about the new Michael Gracey/20th Century Fox film The Greatest Showman. It’s fun. The choreography is magnificent. The costumes are colorful. Some of the songs are catchy. And Hugh Jackman does a credible turn in the lead role.
The movie has gotten a great deal of attention, and mixed though generally good reviews. And, true to the spirit of Barnum, the studio has put together an all-out blitz to generate a lot of publicity, including a live commercial, a light show atop the Empire State Building, a party on the Queen Mary, and ads emblazoned on the outside of Amazon Prime packages. Impressive.
If the combination of all that serves to bring attention back to P.T. Barnum, one of the most fascinating and charismatic men in American history, then it is a good thing.
But from the historical perspective, we might as well just throw the truth into the chipper-shredder… because there is not a great deal of it in Greatest Showman…
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