I was somewhere around 8-12 years old, which would be in the 1974-1978 span, the movie would possibly be older since it was on television at the time, and shot in black and white. (Of course, since it was on television, it's entirely possible that the TV was simply a B&W set.)
Circus based, revolved around the high wire act. One element was that the high wire act was performed over a wooden bed that had swords, or sword like blades sticking up.
Key scenes (Definitely remember)
- A close up shot of the foot on the wire, and a slip where someone had greased it with vaseline or similar, and the artist grabs the wire as he falls to recover.
- Another high wire shot, there is an image of a hand with a knife in a curtained booth at the end of the wire, the knife is thrown into the back of the artist who falls onto the sword bed below.
There was a conflict about selling (?) the circus, or possibly a love triangle (?) involving the high wire artist, dim memory that the hand that threw the knife belonged to a woman, some recollection that the freak show people gathered around the body at the end.