"Chick" Thompson is a puppet-master in a traveling carnival whose wife dies in childbirth and leaves him with an infant son he names "Poochy." His father-in-law and the baby's grandfather ...
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"Chick" Thompson is a puppet-master in a traveling carnival whose wife dies in childbirth and leaves him with an infant son he names "Poochy." His father-in-law and the baby's grandfather sues him for custody of the baby and Chick takes his son and hides out for a couple of years. He joins his former assistants, Daisy and "Fingers", in a circus act only to find that the persistent grandfather is still on his trail. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
A familiar story gets a sex change in this old fashioned yarn of fatherly love as opposed to motherly love. It's filled with every imaginable type of character you would see in your local traveling carnival of years past. Fans of the cult musical "Side Show" will recognize almost all of the specialty acts from little people to the bearded lady to even half man, half woman. Bring raised among these and "normal" traveling entertainers is the son of a puppeteer whose mother died in childbirth. Lee Tracy once again plays the single father, having already done so in "The Lemon Drop Kid" the previous year. When his disapproving father-in-law (Oscar Apfel) threatens a custody battle, Tracy takes the kid on the run. Tracy's partner (Sally Eilers) is obviously in love with him and longs to marry him, but Tracy has other ideas.
Laughs are provided by Jimmy Durante as a kleptomaniac member of the carnival crew who provides a shoulder for Tracy to lean on behind the laughter. This is a mixture of dramatic pathos and light comedy, and a few casting surprises along the way including a young blonde who had a lengthy career as queen of the B's before becoming the queen of T.V. in the early 1950's. Look for a blonde nurse anxious to steal kisses from her doctor boyfriend who kisses Durante instead. Ultimately, it is Durante's attempt at theft which leads to near tragedy and provides a gripping finale. Fine performances help this ruse above predictable plot twists.
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