The Clown and the Kids, starring Emmett Kelly Sr.
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The Clown and the Kids

The Clown and the Kids (1968), starring Emmett Kelly Sr.

In short, The Clown and the Kids is strictly a movie for children, starring the great tramp clown, Emmett Kelly Sr.  It has him as the head of a small family circus, traveling through Europe.  In fact, most of the cast has their words dubbed.  It was filmed on location in Bulgaria.  The plot has their circus coming to a town called Scraggsville – that wants no performance.  Or laughter.  Where the children aren’t allowed to play.  Why?  Because the man who owns the town hates it.

The Clown and the Kids, starring Emmett Kelly Sr.Yes, it’s that one-dimensional a story.  After putting on a free show — the children of the town are punished for attending.  Emmett Kelly does do his famous sweeping the spotlight routine, however.  Afterward, he decides that he, his son and daughter, and the circus troupe have to do something.  So Emmett disguises himself as the Pied Piper, luring the children away.  Until the parents decide that they’ve had enough, overthrow Mr. Scraggs, and it’s party time.

Seriously.  When I first saw this on videotape many years ago, I thought it was an after-school TV special – but it was actually a theatrical release.  As I say, it’s strictly for the children, except for enjoying the “sweeping the spotlight” routine.

Editorial review of The Clown and the Kids courtesy of

A family circus travels Europe, town to town. Finally they come to Scraggsville where the mayor of the town rules with an iron hand. the first thing the circus fins out is that nobody is allowed to attend such functions and fun for the children is outlawed. finally some of the children sneak out and talk to the clown. The children and the clown devise a plan so everyone can start having fun and first of all attend the circus. Kid power!




    Sadly, a really bad film. The only redeeming part is Emmett’s sweeping the spotlight scene.

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