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Carnival (1935)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 15 February 1935 (USA)
"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 »


Walter Lang


Robert Riskin (story), Robert Riskin (screenplay)


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Cast overview:
Lee Tracy ... Chick Thompson
Sally Eilers ... Daisy
Jimmy Durante ... Fingers
Florence Rice ... Miss Holbrook
Thomas E. Jackson ... Mac (as Thomas Jackson)
Dickie Walters Dickie Walters ... Poochy (as John Richard Walters)


"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 sues him for custody of the baby and Chick takes his son and hides out for a couple of years. He joins his former assistants, Daisy and "Fingers", in a circus act only to find that the persistent grandfather is still on his trail. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Another Columbia Hit By Robert Riskin, Adapter of "Broadway Bill" and "Lady for a Day" See more »


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 February 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Worlds Fair See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Comedy With a Solid Core
2 February 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Carnival puppeteer Lee Tracy's wife dies giving birth to his son. His father-in-law, Oscar Apfel, who threw his daughter out, wants the baby, but Tracy says no. When warrants are shown, Tracy grabs the baby. With the help of light-fingered piano-player Jimmy Durante and Tracy's assistant, Sally Eilers, they take it on the lam, hiding under false names in traveling shows. Eilers loves Tracy, but he never realizes it.

It's a pretty good carnival movie, directed by Walter Lang from a script by Robert Riskin. It shows the close-knit community of the carnival, with plenty of the characters you might see at a sideshow, including midgets, a half-man-half-woman, and giant John Aasen. It doesn't romanticize the culture; its members are well-meaning if not overly bright, and it's good to see Tracy in this period doing something than his patented, fasted-talking reporter.

The copy I saw was not very good. The image looked to be third or fourth generation, and the soundtrack was muffled, but what I saw indicated that it was a pretty good movie.

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