The Greatest Showman is a 2017 American historical musical film directed by Michael Gracey, and written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon. The film stars Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya. The film is inspired by the true story of businessman P. T. Barnum, the founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus circus, and from the members' lives.
Main filming of the Master of Dreams began in New York City in November 2016. The film premiered on December 8, 2017 aboard the RMS Queen Mary 2 ship. premiered in the US on December 20, 2017 by 20th Century Fox, seven months after the Barnum & Bailey Circus circus was officially shut down. In Vietnam, the film premiered on December 29, 2017.
In the mid-19th century, P. T. Barnum and his troupe performed a show at the circus ("The Greatest Show (Part 1)"). As children, Barnum and tailor's father Philo worked for the Hallett family. He loves their daughter, Charity, who is being sent to school. The two keep in touch through letters ("A Million Dreams"), eventually marrying and raising two daughters, Caroline and Helen, in New York City. They live a humble life; Although Charity is happy, Barnum desires more.
Barnum lost his job as a salesman at a shipping company after the company went bankrupt and returned home on Caroline's birthday ("A Million Dreams (Reprise)"). He borrowed money from a bank, deceiving them to accept his old ships as collateral. He used the loan to found Barnum's American Museum in downtown Manhattan, an attraction that showcases various wax models. Initially, sales were slow. At the suggestion of his children to introduce something "alive", Barnum searches for "monsters" to be his museum performers ("Come Alive"). He gathered a large group of them including Lettie Lutz. This attracted a large audience despite the protests and poor reviews from James Gordon Bennett, prompting Barnum to rename his venture "Barnum's Circus".
Looking to continue his reputation, Barnum met playwright Phillip Carlyle and persuaded him to join his venture ("The Other Side"). Carlyle is fascinated by the African-American trapezoidal artist Anne Wheeler, but he hides his feelings. During one trip, Carlyle arranged for Barnum and his troupe to meet Queen Victoria. Later, Barnum persuaded famous Swedish singer Jenny Lind to perform in the US as her manager. Lind's US debut was a hit ("Never Enough"); in the song, Carlyle and Wheeler are spotted by Carlyle's parents while they are holding hands.
When Barnum gained favor with aristocratic clients, he began to distance himself from his troupe when he advised them to work on the show that night. Depressed, they decide to fight local harassers ("This is me"). Carlyle and Wheeler attend the theater but they happen to meet Carlyle's parents, who punish Carlyle for "marching around with help". Wheeler runs away, and Carlyle angrily scolds them, then chases after Wheeler and tries to convince her that they can be together, but she turns him down ("Rewrite the stars"). When Barnum took Lind to travel to America, Charity feels isolated from her husband when she is at home with their daughter ("Tightrope"). While touring, Lind begins to fall in love with Barnum. When he turned down her progress, she threatened to give up and gave him a kiss at the end of her final show, photographed by the press ("Never Enough (Reprise)"). Barnum returns home to find his circus on fire, caused by a fight between protesters and the troupe. Carlyle runs into the burning building, believes Wheeler is still inside, and is severely injured before being rescued by Barnum.
Barnum received news from a sympathetic Bennett that the culprit was arrested and that Lind canceled her tour after her "scandal" and Barnum. Barnum's mansion was confiscated and Charity took their daughter to her parents' home. Devastated by his selfishness, Barnum retreated to a local bar where his troupe found him and explained that despite their disappointment, they still considered themselves a family that needed him. Inspired, he is determined to start a new show and not let the ambition surpass his love ("From Now On"). Carlyle woke up in a hospital with Wheeler beside her.
Barnum finds Charity and they heal their relationship. Barnum faces financial difficulty rebuilding the circus, but Carlyle is recovering from entering, offering to use the circus's profits to rebuild it in terms of becoming a full partner which Barnum happily accepts. To save money, Barnum turned the business into an outdoor circus by the harbor. The refurbished circus was a huge hit ("The Greatest Show (Part 2)"). Barnum gives full control of the show to Carlyle to spend more time with his family.
Hugh Jackman as P. T. Barnum
Ellis Rubin as the young P. T. Barnum.
Ziv Zaifman is in charge of recording the vocals of young P. T. Barnum.
Zac Efron as Phillip Carlyle
Michelle Williams as Charity Barnum
Skylar Dunn as the young Charity
Rebecca Ferguson as Jenny Lind. Loren Allred is in charge of recording Lind's voice.
Zendaya as Anne Wheeler