Carnival Story Film Details
Overview: An American carnival in Germany sets the scene for sin, sex and melodrama.
Tagline: The Story of a Woman’s Shame!
Review: This film was produced by the King Brothers, guys who existed just outside the mainstream of Hollywood, and was directed by Kurt Neumann, a guy who came from Germany and apparently found himself back in his homeland at the time of the production of this film. It stars B movie legend Steve Cochran paired with the great character actress Ann Baxter in a rare leading role. B movie fans will also enjoy one of the more substantial performances of Tor Johnson’s career — he plays the carnival strongman who cares for Baxter’s character, the oddly named “Willie”, and watches over her like a dark angel. Lyle Bettger also gets one of his best roles here, as a high diver who teacher Willie the tricks of his trade and ends up being betrayed by her because of her passion for Joe (Cochran). The story itself is fairly typical and won’t really please anyone who’s looking for fundamentally surprising or interesting story elements. However the script itself is pretty juicy and high in quality. There are a lot of memorable lines of dialog, such as when Joe tells Willie, “we’re not going to let a little thing like you being married get between us, are we?” As that line would indicate, Cochran is playing a true blue heel in this one, and he goes to town with it. Ultimately he’s not a very interesting character compared to Baxter’s, but he plays it well. Baxter barely looks like the actress I remember, but partly that’s because of the garish color process used for this film. Roan’s DVD seems to have been made from a print instead of a negative as well and there are chunks of a few scenes missing and damaged. This film was probably not ever going to be one of the greats, but speaking as a fan of circus and carnival type movies it is good for what it is. I like it better than bigger budget films from the time like DeMille’s “Greatest Show on Earth” and the Lancaster/Hecht” “Trapeze.” In some ways that’s because the very seediness of the production actually lends itself better to the carny aesthetic.
Country: West Germany, USA
Language: English, German
Duration: 95 min
Also known as: To methysi tis sarkas,O Grande Espetáculo,Carnaval de pasión,Cirkusnætter,El mundo del circo,Förföraren,Carnival Story,Noodlottige passie,Escalera al infierno,カーニバルの女,O Grande Espectáculo,Apasionadamente,Ceux du voyage,La carovana del luna park,İhtiras kervanı,Rakkauden leikkipaikka,Lunaparkowa opowieść,Oproer in het circus