Carnival (1935)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Romance

Carnival (1935) Poster

"Chick" Thompson is a puppet-master in a traveling carnival whose wife dies in childbirth and leaves him with an infant son he names "Poochy." His father-in-law and the baby's grandfather ... See full summary »


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2 February 2019 | rhoda-9
| Funny Men Misused in Baby Sob Story
Technically, this is a comedy (happy ending, funny dialogue), but it's a pretty soggy one. Lee Tracy, the screen's peerless impersonator of fast-talking, wisecracking flim-flam men, is Chick, a carny showman whose wife dies in childbirth and whose anxieties about bringing up baby expose us to lots of lectures about bottles and thermometers. Jimmy Durante, whose talent is for demolishing order and breaking up the joint, assists Tracy in baby care, helping him put up a front of respectability for the baby-snatchers from the Children's Society. These harpies pursue Tracy with such assiduity over the years you would think his name was Chick Valjean.

Chick learns that a wife would make him genuinely respectable, but his worries prevent him seeing that sweet Sally Eilers, who is besotted with both him and his baby, is the one for him. The performers are all appealing, and the baby isn't too hard to take, but the script is pretty lame, and the whole enterprise feels damped down by the enforced pathos and the submission of the two comics' raucous personalities to these nice-guy parts.

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Comedy | Romance

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