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Carnival Story (1954)

 -  Drama  -  16 April 1954 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 306 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 3 critic

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

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

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Cast

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

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a woman's shame!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 April 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ceux du voyage  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Color:

(Agfacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Featured in In a Spiral State (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Ring Down the Curtain
Written by Willy Schmidt-Gentner, Pony Sherrell, Philip Moody
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User Reviews

Believable Atmosphere, Has Some Tense Moments, Somewhat Uneven Overall
8 December 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

The believable atmosphere and some moments of real tension, along with Anne Baxter's starring performance, make "Carnival Story" worth watching despite its somewhat uneven quality overall. It has some strengths, but it leaves you feeling that it could have been improved without too much difficulty.

The story has an interesting setting, with the drama and romance taking place in an American traveling show that is touring Germany, having attracted little interest in the US. Although the portrayal of the show and its players uses a number of clichés, in general the atmosphere is believable, and it supplies an effective background to the story. The world of the carnival is self-contained to begin with, and their presence in a foreign country emphasizes their isolation from the 'real world'. Jay C. Flippen plays the show's manager, and his character adds an appropriate air of run-down authority.

Anne Baxter stars as the only German native among the main characters, an intense young woman who becomes involved romantically with more than one of the show's employees. In itself, the plot is the same as that in many other movies about romantic rivalry, with Baxter's character torn between the 'good' lover and the 'bad' lover. Baxter herself works well enough in the role, since her restless style fits in with her character here.

Most of the other characters, though, remain one-dimensional, and some of the confrontations and tense moments lose something as a result. When the dramatic turns work, it is usually because they take place in an interesting setting, rather than because they have been filmed with any particular skill. The pacing likewise is inconsistent. There are a number of slow stretches that do little of note, but then it does make good use of the recurring high dive scenes, with the pageantry, danger, and tension that they bring.

Overall, it has some definite strengths and some obvious weaknesses. It is essentially a formulaic drama about romantic rivalries, with a relatively interesting setting that hides enough of the weaknesses to make it worth seeing.


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