"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 ...
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Animated tale by former Tim Burton art director Deane Taylor has many of Burton's dark themes. Children playing by the sea shore are lured into a time travel portal where they are taken to ... See full summary »
Helena Bonham Carter,
"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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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