Fixer Dugan (1939)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  21 April 1939 (USA)
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A young girl is orphaned when her mother, a circus aerialist, is killed in a fall. A rival circus informs the sheriff that the girl is an orphan, and she is subsequently placed in an ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Ethel Myrtle 'Terry' O'Connell
Aggie Moreno
Bradley Page ...
A.J. Barvin, Circus Owner
William Edmunds ...
Edward Gargan ...
Vinton Hayworth ...
Frank Darlow (as Jack Arnold)
Rita La Roy ...
Patricia 'Pat' O'Connell
Irene Franklin ...
Edythe Elliott ...
Mrs. Fletcher


A young girl is orphaned when her mother, a circus aerialist, is killed in a fall. A rival circus informs the sheriff that the girl is an orphan, and she is subsequently placed in an orphanage. The circus' manager, known as "The Fixer", determines to help out the girl and punish the rival circus owner. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








Release Date:

21 April 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Double Daring  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The play originally opened in New Haven, Connecticut, USA on 1 May 1928. See more »


A shot in Marysville, Kansas, shows a palm tree outside. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on round, trapeze-catcher platforms. See more »


(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Played as background music at the circus
See more »

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User Reviews

Circus Girls
14 January 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Lee Tracy stars in the title role of Fixer Dugan, barker and all around handyman at a circus who thinks very fast on his feet and has a broad streak of conman in him. The part fits Tracy better than the glove that fitted OJ.

Top billed act is wire walker Rita LeRoy who's none too happy when lion tamer Peggy Shannon joins the circus. They have a rivalry like Davis and Crawford. But when LeRoy is killed, Shannone takes an interest in raising her daughter Virginia Weidler now left an orphan. Of course Tracy will help, but Shannon has some concern about the values he's imparting.

Shannon has her own problems as her former boss and rival circus owner Vinton Hayworth is trying to pull a fast one and attach the lions she works with in her act. And there are the juvenile authorities concerned about the atmosphere where Weidler is being raised.

Made on a budget at RKO that probably would have covered one of the salaries of the cast of The Greatest Show On Earth, this film has a nice quiet charm to it and in its own way is as good a circus film as DeMille's heralded spectacle.

One thing that I thought was colossally stupid was when Weidler went into the lion's cage to warn Shannon about Hayworth. If she had been raised around a circus she would know better than that. Still it was a hard and almost fatal lesson to learn. But Tracy milked it for all it was worth.

Fixer Dugan still holds up well and is highly recommended for family audiences.

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