6.5/10
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19 user 21 critic

Carny (1980)

R | | Drama | 23 May 1980 (USA)
Tired of her dull job as a waitress, Donna decides to join two carnival hustlers and see what life in their field is like.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) (as Robbie Kaylor) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Frankie
...
...
...
Gerta
...
Heavy St. John
...
On-Your-Mark
...
Doubles
...
Nails (as Theodore Wilson)
John Lehne ...
Skeet
...
Marvin Dill
...
Delno Baptiste
...
W. C. Hannon
Alan Braunstein ...
Willie Mae
...
Sugaree
...
Mickey
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Storyline

A carnival comes to a small town. Eighteen year old Donna meets Frankie and Patch, two carnival hustlers. They earn their living by mercilessly taunting spectators to try to dump one of them into the water by throwing balls. Donna is tired of her work as a waitress and follows them through the South. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where love is just another sucker's game. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 May 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Feira Ambulante  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Robert Kaylor originally wanted to make a smaller film starring Harvey Keitel and Robert Mitchum. See more »

Goofs

After Frankie is dunked by Patch, he is not near the microphone but his voice is still amplified. See more »

Quotes

Donna: If I had the money for a bus ticket I'd leave right now.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Last Waltz meets Paper Moon
20 April 2005 | by (New York, Toronto) – See all my reviews

I saw this in the theater in winter/spring on 1980 -- haven't seen it since (geez, 25 years!) until these showings on the Canadian movie station. a lot more risqué than i remembered it!

it's sure captivating,engrossing, hypnotic, alluring, inviting. jodie's in her young hottie period, and robbie's the eye candy for the girls. he's sort of playing a sequel to The Last Waltz's "it's a god-damn impossible way of life." busey's fabulously enraged and possessed -- pre-wacko period. the music and soundtrack is superb. and GREAT casting. Fred Ward's a great surprise! never seen him give a bad performance.

seems like the most real circus movie i've even. i remember these traveling ferris-wheel freak-show ball-toss circus from my childhood, and it looks exactly as i remember it. (also, Movie Connection! this real traveling midwestern circus is captured briefly in Festival Express, a documentary about a 1970 train trip across Canada with Janis Joplin as Jodie Foster, Rick Danko as Gary Busey, and Robbie Robertson in his other role as a band-leader! :-) i'm certainly not bothered by the "lack of a plot" or whatever people seem to complain about -- a lot of my favorite art is not plot driven. say, Catcher in The Rye, for another young runaway story.

Pull a string! Enjoy the ride!


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