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Carnival Story (1954)

 -  Drama  -  16 April 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 297 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 3 critic

An American carnival in Germany sets the scene for sin, sex and melodrama.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: Carnival Story (1954)

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Complete credited cast:
Steve Cochran ...
Joe Hammond
Frank Colloni
Bill Vines
Charley Grayson
Helene Stanley ...
Ady Berber ...
Groppo (as Adi Berber)


In search of better business, a big American carnival opens in Munich, Germany. Joe the barker befriends attractive pickpocket Willie, finds her a job, and beds her. Then high diver Frank recruits Willie as his assistant. When Frank falls for her and proposes marriage, Joe takes the opportunity to brush her off. After the marriage, Joe figures he can still exercise his sexual hold over Willie; but tragedy intervenes. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of a woman's shame!




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Release Date:

16 April 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carnival Story  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Was supposed to be shot in 3-D, but was scrapped just before shooting commenced. See more »


Joe didn't realize until shortly after Willie picked his pocket that his wallet was missing so would have not known it was Willie who stole it and therefore would not be able to pick her out in the crowd. Also when he confronts her, he would not have known where she hid his wallet. See more »


[first lines]
Frank Colloni: Whaddya say, Joe.
[to Charley]
Frank Colloni: Boy, this is sure seein' Europe the hard way!
Charley Grayson: Aw, it's better than dodgin' those sheriffs in Kentucky. Besides, we might do pretty good here.
See more »


Alternate-language version of Circus of Love (1954) See more »


Ring Down the Curtain
Written by Willy Schmidt-Gentner, Pony Sherrell, Philip Moody
See more »

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User Reviews

It could have been better....
11 October 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Carnival Story" is a film in the public domain, so it can either be downloaded for free from the link on IMDb or you get can the disc from Netflix--which is ALSO rather washed out and in need of restoration. Considering that the film is not all that good, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a cleaner copy.

This is an unusual film in that it's an American-German co-production. In fact, two different versions were filmed at the same time--one with American actors in the leads ("Carnival Story") and another with Germans ("Circus of Love"). It's about an American carnival (with circus acts as well) that has traveled to Germany. There, the show is a huge hit. Into this setting, a German lady (Anne Baxter) meets up with what SEEMS like a nice guy working with the carnival (Steve Cochran). He's really nice to her and she is smitten with him. Soon, a nice guy (Lyle Bettger--playing against type) teaches her his diving act and the two of them become a sensation. Soon, they marry but Baxter is an idiot and soon starts carrying on with Cochran behind her poor husband's back. What's going to come of this? See the film and find out for yourself.

This is a moderately diverting film. However, I think it could have been written a bit better. In particular, Baxter's character seems very inconsistent and silly---and is definitely a weak point in the film. Even if this had been better, the film screams 'mediocre' throughout and is only mildly diverting...mildly.

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