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The Wagons Roll at Night (1941)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  25 April 1941 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 542 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
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

The theatrical trailer was narrated by Gig Young. See more »

Quotes

Matt Varney: If you look at it in a certain way, a lion's nothing but a large chipmunk.
See more »

Connections

Version of Kid Galahad (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Aloha Oe
(uncredited)
Music by Queen Liliuokalani
Played during the hula dance
See more »

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User Reviews

Bogart's Top Billing
3 February 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Wagons Roll at Night, The (1941)

** (out of 4)

Circus promoter Nick Coaster (Humphrey Bogart) finds himself in trouble when a dangerous lion escapes his act but a grocery clerk (Eddie Albert) ends up saving the day. Nick, seeing the possibility for money, hires the kid on as a lion trainer but soon jealously gets involved as Nick's girlfriend (Sylvia Sidney) starts to fall for the kid but even worse is when his sister (Joan Leslie) falls for him. This film really comes off as a watered down version of Kid Galahad, which also featured Bogart in a supporting role. If you've seen that earlier film with Edward G. Robinson and Bette Davis (or the later Elvis remake) then you're going to know all the twists and turns that this film offers. The one thing this film has going for it is seeing the pre-fame Bogart playing this type of role so fans of the actor might get a kick out of this thing. I've read that Bogart really hated this film but he's actually not too bad in it. He certainly isn't giving a classic performance but he does a good job showing off his tough side and again, it's always fun seeing him in this type of role. Sidney ends up stealing the film as his troubled girlfriend who wants a better life outside the circus. She comes off very charming in her role and add a lovely realism to her character. Albert is also very good in his role and really comes across well as that bright eyed kid who is about to learn a lesson in life. There are some nice touches of humor thrown in including a great sequence when the lion escapes and wonders into Albert's grocery store. A woman is sniffing limburger cheese when she first sees the beast and Albert's reaction to what happens is great. It's also worth noting that this is the first film in which Bogart received top-billing so that's one historic reason, which might draw people to watch this.


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