Judy and her grandpa run a trolley between a train depot and a ghost town in Nevada, near the California border. Three spies intent of tracking down an atomic missile gone astray arrive. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Judy Canova
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Grandpa Rutherford Canova
...
Don Mack
Sig Ruman ...
Stefan
...
Otto
...
Hogar
...
Professor
Emil Sitka ...
Technician
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Storyline

Judy and her grandpa run a trolley between a train depot and a ghost town in Nevada, near the California border. Three spies intent of tracking down an atomic missile gone astray arrive. When the trolley breaks down, Judy and Grandpa unwittingly install the engine from the nearby crashed missile. Written by Anonymous

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trolley | streetcar | See All (2) »

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Comedy | Musical | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

28 January 1955 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)
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Connections

Referenced in Mischief (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Busy As a Beaver
Written by Jack Elliott and Donald Kahn
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Mildly charming, but a little threadbare
10 September 2009 | by (Wavy Wheat, Nebraska) – See all my reviews

My film group watched "Carolina Cannonball" because it was mentioned in the book "Keep Watching The Skies!" as part of the history of science fiction films in the 40s-late 60's. The "science fiction" content in this case is an errant "atomic powered missile" that goes missing and lands near the track where Judy Canova and her "grandad" are running a trolley (the "Cannonball" of the title) and for various reasons too complicated to go into, they swap out their boiler for the missile, and hilarity ensues.

This one pretty much goes through the motions without any real oomph, although the actors work hard to sell the plot; there are also some decent sight gags and slapstick in a few places (along with plenty of stuff that falls flat). Judy, in her role as a hick/bumpkin/man starved country gal, actually sings three short numbers in the movie, and the songs are innocuous enough that they won't hurt or annoy the viewer very much. The rest of the time she moons over the handsome young government agent who has come to her deserted ghost town looking for the missile, plays off the three Commie "prospectors" who also are looking for the missile, chats with her "grandfather",cracks wise, and generally fills up screen time with stage business and rubber faces until time runs out. It's OK entertainment, but nothing you'd go out of your way to see these days. Call it the movie equivalent to one of the less funny "I Love Lucy" episodes.

To be fair, the copy I saw was a terrible print, grainy and smeared black and white, which probably detracted some from its impact. I understand that Canova had a long and diverse film and radio career, and you can see why - this is her vehicle and she carries the film. Unfortunately, with material this underpowered, she can't carry it far enough.

I will say in its defense, that "Carolina Cannonball" is quite a bit better than many bottom-of-the-bill features I've seen from that era.


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