[wonder if this TV show mentioned that P T Barnum was an early anti-abortion/anti-birth control politician]
From- Daily News Miner ...... TV section ........ Fall 1995
THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL PROFILES
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN ON EARTH
BY Suzanne Gill
Picture caption- The life and times of Phineas Taylor Barnum are recalled in 'P.T. Barnum - America's Greatest Showman' Sunday on 'The Discovery Channel'.
Phineas Taylor Barnum never said, "There's a sucker born every minute." Instead, he called himself "the prince of humbugs."
The Discovery Channel turns the spotlight on the master showman, practical joker, crusading politician, teetotaler and family man in "P.T. Bar num - America's Greatest Showman," debuting Sunday, Oct.15. The lively three-hour production recalls how Barnum made, lost and remade a fortune long before he owned the circus still bearing his name.
Barnum originated the theater matinee, instituted the first national beauty pageant and imported America's first herd of elephants. He frequently deceived the public as to the origins of his "human curiosities" but made it possible for many of them to lead surprisingly happy lives. Barnum emerges as a mass of contra dictions: an egotist who accepted setbacks as God's will; an opponent of slavery who made a public joke of a group of Indian chiefs.
He sponsored singer Jenny Lind on a triumphant American tour, yet claimed to have Darwin's living "missing link" on display in his museum. The inspiration for the film was the private Meserve-Kunhardt collection of 19th-century photographs, owned by producers Peter and Philip B. Kunhardt III and their family. More than half of the photographs in the film belong to the Kunhardts.
Antique costumes and other items are from museums, principally the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Conn. "It's such a rich, long career ' notes Philip Kunhardt. "We don't even get into the circus until the third hour." The producers selected Karl Malden to be the voice of Barnum, with Robbie Benson as dwarf Tom Thumb and Maureen Stapleton as Charity Barnum. Cliff Robertson narrates.
In Part 3, Barnum's actual voice is heard on an Edison wax cylinder. "I think of him as a highly energetic, creative man," Kunhardt says, "who really wanted to make a difference in this country . .... He believed that all human beings belonged to one family. I think he tried to put that vision into practice in his career."