Midget Circus Thrills Paris, 1949 Newsreel of a Parisian Flea Circus

Video and film archivist company British Pathé has once again dug up a gem with this 1949 newsreel of a real-life flea circus titled Midget Circus Thrills Paris.

Monsieur Robert, owner of the flea circus placing fleas on arm. He is placing very small items on the inside of his arm which is resting on the table. The items are tiny cars, bikes and other vehicles. A man pulls an enormous magnifying glass from inside his coat and looks through it – his face is highly magnified…

Flea jumps around – reaction shot from the crowd as they recoil from the table. Man uses a wooden back scratcher. Flea is suspended from a pin and is in turn attached to something which looks like a miniature handbag (hard to tell what this is supposed to be.) C/U of a man scratching his wrist. Two men roll up their trouser legs to have a scratch.

And I quote, “Next time, don’t forget the DDT”.