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"King of the Carnival" is the nadir of the once fabulous Republic Studio serial machine that turned out true masterpieces of action during the late 30s and early 40s. Made in l950, this ultra cheapie is a disgrace. I'm sure that the brilliant Republic serial directors like William Witney and John English were mortified to discover their studio had unleashed this incredibly bad, tawdry product onto movie screens. This story has something to do with a circus and criminals. I couldn't figure it out. One of the circus dressing rooms is set up against the corner of a sound stage with draperies to hide the wall. The draperies constantly ripple from a draft. In some of the underwater sequences, the performers pretend to be in the water by moving in s-l-o-w motion. Yet, they don't get wet. One plus: the tape box that this came in has to be one of the most beautifully created containers I've ever seen. Someone did a brilliant job designing this little work of art. Brilliant and vibrant yellows, greens and reds and blues jump off the box. I would give the tape box an A+. The serial gets an O--as in off the radar screen for lousy entertainment. Watch it out of curiosity. And then watch one of Republic's greatest serials: the l942 masterpiece, "G-Men vs. The Black Dragon" with one of the most dynamic female performances in serials: the fabulous Constance Worth. Just watch her use the machine guns, revolvers to help out her boss, rugged Rod Cameron.
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