‘The Greatest Showman’ True and False
I saw The Greatest Showman and loved it! And when I like something I go a little crazy with the Google machine.
The Greatest Showman is a musical based on P.T. Barnum starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Michelle Williams.
The songs are catchy and have been stuck in my head for days, but like with any movie, I had a feeling this movie took some liberties with history.
So here is what is true and false in The Greatest Showman.
- Zac Efron's character Phillip Carlyle doesn't exist.
- Zendaya's character Anne Wheeler doesn't exist.
These characters were added for a forbidden love story twist. I'm ok with it! Their duet on the ropes is amazing!
- P.T. Barnum was actually close to 60 when he started his shows. Hugh Jackman is much younger.
- Jenny Lind was a real person and did tour with Barnum, but they never had a fling. She actually left the tour due to Barnum's relentless marketing of her.
- Jenny Lind is played by Rebecca Ferguson in the movie, but is voiced by The Voice runner up Loren Allred.
- Barnum's museum did burn down...twice.
- Barnum may not have been such the champion of acceptance as depicted.
In an excerpt from historyvshollywood.com:
For example, Barnum is believed to have gotten his start as a showman in 1835 when he purchased and exhibited an elderly African American slave woman named Joice Heth, who was blind and almost entirely paralyzed. He claimed that Heth was 161 years old and had been George Washington's nurse. Heth died the following year. Her true age was approximately 80 years old, roughly half the age Barnum advertised her to be.
Honestly, this movie is visually stunning and the music is so catchy, plus Zac Efron in a top hat is a beautiful thing. That alone is worth the price of admission.