6.4/10
1,663
20 user 22 critic

Carny (1980)

R | | Drama | 23 May 1980 (USA)
Trailer
2:03 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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:

Robert Kaylor

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Foxes (1980)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A group of four teenage girls come of age in the asphalt desert of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley arranged with a blazing soundtrack and endless drinking, drugs and sex.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie, Marilyn Kagan
O'Hara's Wife (1982)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A mourning workaholic's deceased wife comes back to haunt him, but in a benevolent way, trying to get him to change his dreary attorney life into a life where he has a relationship with his children and is happier with himself.

Director: William Bartman
Stars: Edward Asner, Mariette Hartley, Jodie Foster
Casotto (1977)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Una domenica estiva in uno stabilimento balneare al Lido di Ostia (Roma). Una fauna umana variegata e tante storie che si intrecciano. Una squadra femmminile di pallacanestro ; due militari... See full summary »

Director: Sergio Citti
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Jodie Foster, Paolo Stoppa
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A man hires a P.I. to find a hot woman he fell in love with. The woman lives with her underage teen sister who dreams about having sex for the first time, but wants a real man. That's when the P.I. shows up and stirs up the household.

Director: Eric Le Hung
Stars: Jean Yanne, Jodie Foster, Sydne Rome
Mesmerized (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

An orphaned New Zealand girl married to an older, wealthy businessman learns to deal with his strange sexual desires.

Director: Michael Laughlin
Stars: Jodie Foster, John Lithgow, Michael Murphy
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

WWII. In German occupied Paris, Helene is torn between the love for her boyfriend Jean, working for the resistance and the German administrator Bergmann, who will do anything to gain her ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Chabrol
Stars: Jodie Foster, Michael Ontkean, Sam Neill
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A couple, whose daughter has a life-threatening heart condition, decides to make her last days of life as meaningful for her as possible by taking her to the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

Director: Don Taylor
Stars: Richard Harris, Jodie Foster, Lois Nettleton
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

13-year-old Rynn Jacobs lives alone in a high-class Quebec small town, but unknown to the neighbors, she is leading a secret and dangerous life.

Director: Nicolas Gessner
Stars: Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith
Siesta (1987)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Claire (an American) wakes up in a terrible state at the end of a runway in Spain. As she tries to account for her state (blood-soaked and bruised), she has flashbacks from the past few ... See full summary »

Director: Mary Lambert
Stars: Ellen Barkin, Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands
Five Corners (1987)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A psychotic young man returns to his old neighborhood after release from prison. He seeks out the woman he previously tried to rape and the man who protected her, with twisted ideas of love for her and hate for him.

Director: Tony Bill
Stars: Jodie Foster, Tim Robbins, Todd Graff
Svengali (TV Movie 1983)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An old singer coaches a young woman whom he believes will be the next singing sensation. As she starts off with her career, their bond gets stronger.

Director: Anthony Harvey
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Ashley
Catchfire (1990)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A witness to a mob assassination flees for her life from town to town, switching identities, but cannot seem to elude Milo, the chief killer out to get her.

Director: Dennis Hopper
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Jodie Foster, Dean Stockwell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Busey ... Frankie
Jodie Foster ... Donna
Robbie Robertson ... Patch
Meg Foster ... Gerta
Kenneth McMillan ... Heavy St. John
Elisha Cook Jr. ... On-Your-Mark
Tim Thomerson ... Doubles
Teddy Wilson ... Nails (as Theodore Wilson)
John Lehne John Lehne ... Skeet
Bill McKinney ... Marvin Dill
Bert Remsen ... Delno Baptiste
Woodrow Parfrey ... W. C. Hannon
Alan H. Braunstein Alan H. Braunstein ... Willie Mae (as Alan Braunstein)
Tina Andrews ... Sugaree
Craig Wasson ... Mickey
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Feira Ambulante See more »

Filming Locations:

Savannah, Georgia, USA

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,817,720, 31 December 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorimar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Robbie Robertson, who plays Patch, worked summer jobs in the traveling carny circuit when he was fourteen and fifteen, respectively. Besides providing inspiration for this film, Robertson's experiences working in the carny circuit as a teenager also inspired the song "Life is a Carnival" by The Band. 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Life's a carnival...
13 June 2013 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

Carny is an interesting low-key film. It doesn't really have much of a plot. It works far more on atmosphere. The story is about a direction-less teenage girl (Jodie Foster) who runs away with the carnival after she meets a clown there. This leads to some friction between the manager and the clown; while later the carnies have to deal with some vicious local officials. As I say, it's not really much of a story and in order to appreciate Carny you need to find something in the feel of the movie.

I guess you could describe the set-up as a love triangle but only to a certain extent, as there really isn't a lot of emotion invested in the romantic side of the story; at the same time, there is a thriller element introduced towards the end and while that was quite good fun, it doesn't really fit all that well and could easily have been omitted. But as I say, the film still makes a mark and that is probably a result of the gritty recreation of carnival life and the good performances underpinning it. Best of the actors is Gary Busey who steals the show in his role as the abusive clown; moreover, the film begins very memorably with close-ups of him applying his clown make-up like it was war paint. In a sense it is, as he is extremely confrontational and goads his audience into throwing balls at him in sheer anger. In fact, the film depicts the carnies in general as primarily fuelled by a desire to fleece whoever enters their lair as they travel from town to town.

Carny is an interesting character-driven mood piece. It definitely falls into the cult movie side of the spectrum, as its unusual setting and dynamics will always mean it'll not appeal to everyone but will definitely connect with quite a few who are lured in to sample its wares.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 20 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed