Set in the 1930s, a former veterinary student takes a job in a traveling circus and falls in love with the ringmaster's wife.

Jacob: I'm not running away, I'm coming home.
Jacob: You're a beautiful woman, you deserve a beautiful life. Nothing less.
Jacob: I don't know if I picked that circus. But something told me that circus picked me.
August: You do right by me, I'll show you a life most suckers can't even dream of.
Jacob: Who's the woman who works with the horses?
Camel: That ain't no woman, that's the boss' wife and she don't talk to nobody and you don't talk to her.
[first lines]
Russ: [in the rain] Uh, Excuse me sir. Can we help you? Can we help you with something?
Old Jacob: Did I miss the Spec?
Charlie: Uh, yeah, I'm afraid so. The show was this afternoon.
Old Jacob: Oh.
Charlie: Did you come with the folks from Green Haven? Why don't we get out of the rain, and we'll call them for you.
Old Jacob: No, no! I came on my own.
Russ: It's okay. We're gonna call the home. We're gonna have them come pick you up.
Old Jacob: I'm telling you, I didn't come with the home! Why don't you take those rings out of your head, and maybe you won't be deaf *and* dumb.
Russ: [to Charlie] We'll it's alive.
Old Jacob: I'm sorry kid, I didn't mean that. Your rings look very... pretty.
Old Jacob: Work is the best thing for age.
Marlena: He sold off two dead-beat clowns and a train car so he could buy Lucinda, our lovely fat lady. And Rex.
August: Rex.
Marlena: But you kept the coochie girls, didn't you?
August: No denying they're good revenue. I needed money. So I had to scavenge every dead circus for every act we have.
Marlena: But you didn't have to buy me, did you?
August: No. I had to marry you.
Marlena: That's right.
August: As long as we can walk, we play.
Camel: Come on. I gotcha some work.
Jacob: With animals?
Camel: Oh, you betcha...
Jacob: [now shoveling in a train car with flies buzzing] I've never seen so much manure.
Wade: They pack 'em in 27 a car.
Marlena: I was born a passenger. They found me wrapped in a newspaper under a seat on the Baltimore and Ohio. I was just three days old. I grew up in foster homes. I'd always daydream about who my parents were. When I was five, for an entire year, I pretended my mom was an Appaloosa mare. I did. And that I was a filly, and that I was just dreaming that I was a girl. And that one day I'd wake up, and I'd run home. One thing's for sure, I was a lot safer in those stables than I ever was in those homes. And then the circus came to town.
Jacob: [after scarey incident feeding the lion] You think that's funny?
August: [laughing] Yes, I do.
Jacob: I could have lost my arm!
August: No, you couldn't have. He doesn't have any teeth.
[last lines]
Charlie: We'll get you in the records books. "Oldest man that ever ran away with the circus."
Old Jacob: I'm not running away, I'm coming home.

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