Con Colleano home movie: circus preparations

Title:
Con Colleano home movie: circus preparations
NFSA ID:
1292044
Year:
1928
Category:
Access fees

Australian-born and world famous tightrope circus artist Con Colleano (Cornelius Sullivan, 1899 –1973) features in this home movie of informal Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Combined Circus 'backyard' scenes.

The segment begins with footage of Con rehearsing his famous cape dance. Circus equipment is unloaded on the lot and a menagerie of circus animals and performers are seen preparing for the grand parade.

Performers enter and leave the big top during the performance. A clown hangs up clothing on a line. Con is seen dressed in a dapper, pin-striped suit smoking a cigarette near a circus wagon. A young girl with her doll smiles for the camera. John Ringling (circus boss) pays the show a visit.

Con performs another cape dance in full costume and is joined by his wife 'Big' Winnie. The final shot is of Con’s sister, 'Little Winnie' with her hair in ringlets, who is joined by some fellow female performers.

Con was inducted into the Circus Hall of Fame, Sarasota, Florida in 1966. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the first person to ever successfully attempt a forward somersault on a low-wire tightrope.

The location of this footage is uncertain, however shots of ‘The Alamo’ appear on the same film reel so it is possibly in San Antonio, Texas.

Filmmaker:
Con Colleano