Sleazy, well as sleazy as you can get for 1955, tale of murder and circuses - David Blaine wasn't original! Lesser Hammer non-horror. For Hammer and UK cinema completists. Never expected to see these on DVD.
Circus promoter gets drawn into a murder case, both as witness and suspect, while trying to create the big spectacle that will get his career to take off.
More a collection of noir tropes than a proper film noir, though the circus elements add some interest. It could also be said it's less of a movie than a collection of interesting scenes that never quite gel into a film. It actually seems more like a prototypical entry of the "Edgar Wallace Mysteries" than anything else. Nonetheless, the cast is excellent, the script has a wry humor and Tully manages to make the whole thing watchable, even after it was cut down by some 10-12 minutes. In terms of the exploitation surrounding a distressed, trapped figure, it does resemble Ace in the Hole, which, ironically enough, was first released as The Big Carnival. It's a bit difficult to comprehend the appeal of a "starving man" exhibit, though, and even moreso to picture Pohlmann as that man!
Note: Dandy Nichols is credited on IMDb as 'Woman with child,' but while there is a resemblance, I am certain it is not her.