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Chad Hanna (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 25 December 1940 (USA)
Country boy joins a circus in the 1840s and falls in love with Albany the star equestrian rider. Later he falls in love with Caroline another runaway who becomes the Circus' new bareback rider.



(the story of: "Red Wheels Rolling" by), (screen play)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chad Hanna
Albany Yates
Mrs. Huguenine
B.D. Bisbee
Ted North ...
Fred Shepley
Ike Wayfish
Ben Carter ...
Bell Boy
Burke (as Frank Thomas)
Cisco Tridd
Frank Conlan ...
Mr. Proudfoot
Fiero (as Edward Conrad)
Edward McWade ...
Edward Mundy ...
Joe Duddy


Country boy joins a circus in the 1840s and falls in love with Albany the star equestrian rider. Later he falls in love with Caroline another runaway who becomes the Circus' new bareback rider.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thrilling New Millions ! Right out of the pages of the Saturday Evening Post comes the best-seller acclaimed by Millions !


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gente de circo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Both Hedy Lamarr and Ann Sheridan were considered for the role of Albany. See more »


Fred Shepley: [Talking to Albany] Any thing in pants, huh!
Chad Hanna: Hey Joe! What's happen there, Albany ain't married to him is she?
Joe Duddy: No! But you'd think so the way fight, wouldn't you.
See more »


Featured in Biography: The Fondas (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

A Dangerous Game, The Circus
22 June 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Henry Fonda did his third and last big screen adaption of a Walter Edmonds story about upstate New York with Chad Hanna. The other two were his debut film The Farmer Takes A Wife and the John Ford classic Drums Along The Mohawk. Though Chad Hanna is the least of the three it's still an entertaining film and Fonda could play these rustic characters well, investing in them a sense of dignity and strength.

He's got the title role in Chad Hanna who's a farm boy who gets a yen to join the traveling circus after seeing a poster of Dorothy Lamour as a bareback rider. That's Hank's hormones talking there, but later on another runaway in the person of Linda Darnell and it's the two of them that are fated for each other

The circus business back in the day was one dangerous profession and I'm not just talking about under the big top. Guy Kibbee and Jane Darwell's show is plagued by the much bigger outfit that Ted North runs and he wants them out of business. North even steals Lamour away from Kibbee's show, but that only serves to give Darnell a break and making her the top bareback rider.

Just the names I've mentioned so far indicate that Chad Hanna has a cast of some colorful players and you can add John Carradine to that list as well as Kibbee's advance man. One thing I don't understand is why Kibbee thought Fonda would make a good ringmaster when Kibbee was injured in a fracas with North's show. He promoted the shy Fonda over Carradine who has one of the great voices in the English language. Go figure that one.

Despite that faux pas, Chad Hanna remains a fine film done in nice technicolor and does capture the flavor of rural western New York back in the next to last century.

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