Friday, February 08, 2008

Tonight's Movie: Carnival Boat (1932)

CARNIVAL BOAT is a somewhat creaky tale starring William Boyd (aka Hopalong Cassidy) as Buck Gannon, a logger who is torn between loyalty to his logging camp manager father (Hobart Bosworth), and his girl, who works on a show boat (Ginger Rogers). The father, who wants Buck to succeed him as manager, disapproves of the show business girl distracting his son.

I don't "get" Boyd as a leading man, and he and Bosworth (whose career went back to early silents) tend to act at times as though they're in an old-style melodrama. The film's other drawback is that some of the action sequences rely on speeded-up film and poor back projections, which make the film look quite quaint in spots.

The film does get more interesting as it goes along, and a big plus is the evocative location shooting. Much of the film was shot outdoors, and the movie has a real fresh-air feel to it. The movie was filmed at Big Pines, California, in L.A. County (not to be confused with Big Pine on California's Highway 395). A sequence with a river log jam is particularly exciting.

Ginger Rogers is, of course, another plus for the film. As Buck's love, Honey, she doesn't have a great deal to do, but a movie is always interesting when Ginger is on the screen.

The director was Albert S. Rogell. The film runs a short 62 minutes.

CARNIVAL BOAT is not on DVD or VHS but can be seen on cable on TCM.


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