Juggling in Movies

The Men in Her Life (1941)

[Loretta Young, Conrad Veidt, Dean Jagger, Eugenie Leontovich]

Loretta Young plays Lina Varsavina, a circus performer who dreams of becoming a ballerina. She finds a mentor who can help her attain her dream and marries him, more out of gratitude than love. She soon begins to find out that stardom isn't quite all she thought it would be.

At 01:13, Billy Rayes plays Nurdo, the Demon Juggler Extraordinary, set in 1858, and appears in the opening scene in a circus ring dressed in a Cinquevalli style traditional juggler's costume. His juggling routine consisted of a good solid 5 ball juggle and 3 balls in 1 hand.

Watch closely to the editing of this juggling act. It appears in three distinct shots. The first shows the 5 ball juggling and 3 in one hand while a woman, supposedly Loretta Young, stands on a horse running around the ring. Rayes is still juggling 3 balls in one hand when the shot ends and switches to Loretta Young sitting sidesaddle on the horse and getting off, while Rayes is oddly back to juggling 5 balls, and stopping to take a bow. The shot ends to show the audience clapping in appreciation. The third shot comes back to Rayes, who is now strangely holding plates, not 5 balls, as he finishes his bows and runs out of the circus ring.

The Men in Her Life / Juggling in Movies / movies@juggling.org
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