Lamar reviews - The Greatest Showman

January 12, 2018


I know when it comes to me the first thing everybody thinks is musicals.  The truth is if you ask me about musicals I would say they rank right above vegan mayonnaise and turkey bacon.  The reality is I’ve never seen a musical I didn’t enjoy.  I actually went to see the original Grease 3 times in the theater and bought the soundtrack.  Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, plus the animated stuff like Tangled, Aladdin and so on, loved em all!  It’s the idea of the musical I don’t like, it’s like cream cheese, on principal I hate it but I love everything it’s in.  I probably need to be getting some professional counseling.  But as soon as I saw the trailer for The Greatest Showman I was in.  We are talking The Wolverine, Hugh Jackman.  If he’s in it, I’m seeing it.


This is a story based on the life of P.T. Barnham, loosely based.  When you see the words based on a true story there is a wide margin for what is actually true and what has been added or taken away to make it more enjoyable to an audience.  This movie is no different. 

There are some characters in this movie that actually did exist like General Tom Thumb who was a little over 3 foot tall, Lettie Lutz the Bearded Lady, and Jenny Lind the world famous singer.  Philip Carlisle that became Barnum’s partner, played by Zac Efron and trapeze artist Anne Wheeler, played Zendaya did not.  Barnum actually got his start exhibiting an 80 year old slave woman saying she was 161 years old and George Washington’s nurse.  He found Tom Thumb because he was a distant relative, half fifth cousin twice removed.  I don’t even know how you would figure that.


The movie makes it look like Barnum took in all of these oddities, brought them together as a family, and made them successful and acceptable.  Basically what he did was take advantage of them and make a ton of money.  The upper class would not accept him so he brought Jenny Lind over from Europe and made millions of dollars touring America and got some respect.  He didn’t do the circus until later on in life. 


The man new how to make a dollar.  His American museum was so popular that the huge crowds would hang out in the theater. He couldn’t get the waiting crowd in until they got out.  He put up signs that said “This Way to the Egress”.  People didn’t know egress was another word for exit so they all followed the signs thinking they would see some great exhibit but ended up outside.


1 hour 45 minutes, Rated PG-13.  This movie is not an accurate biography of P.T. Barnum.  This movie is a lively entertaining showcase of great singing, fantastic chorography, and you will not be bored.  Hugh Jackman has been trying to get this made since 2009.  He read dozens of books about P.T. Barnum researching the role and he does a great job in this movie.  Would P.T. Barnum having adamantium retractable claws made this a better movie?  Absolutely without a doubt!  But you gotta work with what you got.


My Score: 5 Ice Cold Budweisers

Lamar reviews - The Greatest Showman

Is he really the Greatest Showman in the world?