The life of the great showman receives a less effective treatment than one might expect with Beery in the title role, but there are moments that recapture that golden era of color and panache when Barnum excited the world with his spectacular attractions. Beery is disarming and prosaic in
his antics to enhance his New York City general goods store by populating it with sideshow freaks, much to the disgust of his New England wife Beecher. The store grows into an emporium of freaks and curiosities, but trouble arises when La Verne, playing the reported 100-year-old nursemaid to
George Washington, is exposed as a fraud, as is Boley, the Bearded Lady. Undaunted, Beery ...