Man on a Tightrope

David Nilsen, writer

This essay first appeared on Fourth & Sycamore.


Man on a Tightrope is one of director Elia Kazan’s most underrated films and one of his best. The film’s title has more than one meaning–the main character is a circus clown who very literally works on a tightrope in some of his routines, but he is also the leader of this circus, and the circus is coming under scrutiny from the communist police where the circus operates in Czechoslovakia in 1952, so he must also walk a narrow line betweenMan Tightrope interrogationmaintaining artistic integrity and not upsetting the authorities. This man is Karel Cernik–played with tremendous gravity and pathos by Fredric March–and his family owned the Circus Cernik for generations until the communist state took over ownership with the rise of their regime, though Karel has been permitted to continue management. However, police investigators and propaganda officials keep a close eye on him and…

View original post 451 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s