An guy and a girl who are working in a carnival's dunk tank. When inebriated Texan comes to the booth he and the guy starts drinking. Eventually the Texan invites him to a function. When they get there he's mistaken for the Texan and she for the man's sister. Eventually he lost a wager and doesn't know how he's going to pay it. And the girl finds herself attracted to the Texan's foreman. Written by
At the time "Texas Carnival" was filmed, Red Norvo's trio included an African-American musician, bassist Charles Mingus, and when they recorded their number for this film (backing Ann Miller on "It's Dynamite") Mingus played on the soundtrack. But when the number was filmed MGM executives insisted that a white bassist substitute for Mingus on screen. See more »
During the chuck wagon race the Texas flag on the announcers stand is upside down. See more »
Esther Williams set on the MGM lot must have been in repair, maybe the pool needed a chlorine refill because none of the spectacular aquatic scenes associated with her films will be found in Texas Carnival. In fact this is really a Red Skelton film and the powers that be at MGM who always liked to keep their contract players working said do this film while we clean the pool.
It's not the greatest Esther Williams or even Red Skelton film, but it does have an amusing moment or two. Red and Esther are working at a dunk tank in a cheap carnival when an inebriated Keenan Wynn shows up and through a combination of circumstances Williams and Skelton wind up going to a Texas resort being mistaken for Wynn and his sister Paula Raymond.
They both find love and trouble at the resort with Williams taking a real liking to Howard Keel who is the foreman of Wynn's ranch and Red falling for the tap dancing sheriff's daughter in the person of Ann Miller. Red also by playing up to the big Texas cattle baron manages to lose $17,000.00 dollars in what the Texans just call a friendly game among millionaires.
As I said Texas Carnival is clearly more Red's film than Esther's and he dominates with a hilarious chuck wagon race finale and one of his patented drunk scenes. What's interesting is that in this film Skelton had Keenan Wynn to contend with in the inebriation competition. Both of these guys have played incredible imbibing scenes in their respective films.
In his memoirs Howard Keel says that Red Skelton was a comic genius, but so much so that his contemporaries had trouble keeping up with him. In that barroom scene with Keenan Wynn it took half a day to shoot because Wynn couldn't help breaking up at his performance.
Don't look for too much aquatics in this Esther Williams film, but it's a not bad Red Skelton comedy.
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