This 8mm footage of Wirth's Circus was shot by unknown American tourists who filmed in Australia and New Zealand in the 1950s.
The footage shows the circus unloading their gear from a train with the help of the famous Wirth's Circus elephants. Then the crew undertake the arduous work of erecting the big top.
Behind-the-scenes footage show clowns, costumed elephants and horses. Black-and-white footage shows the elephants and trapeze artists performing.
Wirth’s Circus was Australia’s largest and most prestigious circus company. For 80 years Wirth’s was billed as Australia’s own ‘Greatest Show on Earth’, and was a huge travelling circus with an international reputation.
Note: the NFSA does not endorse the use of animals for entertainment purposes. This film must be understood in its historical context.