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The Wagons Roll at Night (1941)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  25 April 1941 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 515 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

After local grocery clerk rescues a baby from an escaped lion, a circus owner builds him into an attraction but balks when he falls in love with his sister.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Nick Coster
...
Flo Lorraine
...
Matt Varney
...
Mary Coster
Sig Ruman ...
Hoffman the Great (as Sig Rumann)
Cliff Clark ...
Doc
Charley Foy ...
Snapper
...
Tex
John Ridgely ...
Arch
Clara Blandick ...
Mrs. Williams
...
Mr. Williams
Garry Owen ...
Gus
Jack Mower ...
Bundy
Frank Mayo ...
Wally
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Storyline

A lion escapes Nick Coster's carnival and is captured by grocery clerk Matt Varney whom Nick brings into the show and eventually makes chief lion tamer. When Nick finds out Matt has fallen for his convent-bred sister Mary he makes him go into the cage with the insane lion Caesar. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A DRAMATIC SHOCK FROM THE BIG TOP! The surging drama behind the Big Show...a three ring cyclone of romance, drama and thrills! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 April 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carnival  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Starting with this film, Bogart would always receive top billing for the rest of his career. See more »

Quotes

Nick Coster: [to Flo] When I get a break, I'll hang a jewelry store around that lovely neck of yours.
See more »

Connections

Version of Kid Galahad (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

The Billboard
(uncredited)
Music by John Klohr
Played by the band the first time in the tent
Also played when Matt first enters the cage
Also played when Matt tries to wake Hoffman
Also played during the Varney of the Lions montage
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Just A Big Old Pussycat
6 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

A Lion escapes from Humphrey Bogart's circus during a performance in a small town. It wanders into a grocery store where Eddie Albert is clerking. He manages to trap the lion behind a counter and gets a lot of plaudits and an offer from Bogart to work in his circus.

But jealousy rears its ugly head as Bogart's sister Joan Leslie and his girl friend Sylvia Sidney both fall for who Bogart considers a nice kid, but a hick.

The Wagons Roll at Night was a transitional film between two acclaimed Bogart productions High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. It was NOT the first time Bogart received number one billing. He did in a few other films like Black Legion for example. But with the acclaim he got from High Sierra, Jack Warner put him in this before the highly touted Dashiell Hammett adaption, I guess as a trial run.

The plot is based on Kid Galahad where oddly enough Bogart had a supporting role. Eddie Albert shows only a bit of his incredible talent. Joan Leslie as the nice sister basically repeats the part she had from High Sierra. Sylvia Sidney does well as the love lost carnival fortune teller with eyes for both Bogart and Albert.

Personally though I've always liked what Sig Ruman did in this film as the drunken lion tamer whose place Albert took. The film is at its best when he's on screen.


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