6.4/10
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18 user 4 critic

The Wagons Roll at Night (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 25 April 1941 (USA)
After local grocery clerk rescues a baby from an escaped lion, a circus owner builds him into an attraction but balks when he falls in love with his sister.

Director:

Ray Enright

Writers:

Fred Niblo Jr. (screenplay), Barry Trivers (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Nick Coster
Sylvia Sidney ... Flo Lorraine
Eddie Albert ... Matt Varney
Joan Leslie ... Mary Coster
Sig Ruman ... Hoffman the Great (as Sig Rumann)
Cliff Clark ... Doc
Charley Foy ... Snapper
Frank Wilcox ... Tex
John Ridgely ... Arch
Clara Blandick ... Mrs. Williams
Aldrich Bowker ... Mr. Williams
Garry Owen Garry Owen ... Gus
Jack Mower ... Bundy
Frank Mayo ... Wally
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Storyline

A lion escapes Nick Coster's carnival and is captured by grocery clerk Matt Varney whom Nick brings into the show and eventually makes chief lion tamer. When Nick finds out Matt has fallen for his convent-bred sister Mary he makes him go into the cage with the insane lion Caesar. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The surging drama...the teeming thrills...behind the circus scenes! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 April 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carnival See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The theatrical trailer was narrated by Gig Young. See more »

Quotes

Matt Varney: If you look at it in a certain way, a lion's nothing but a large chipmunk.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Summer of '42 (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

The Umbrella Man
(uncredited)
Music by Vincent Rose and Larry Stock
Played when the taxi pulls into the carnival lot
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just A Big Old Pussycat
6 August 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

A Lion escapes from Humphrey Bogart's circus during a performance in a small town. It wanders into a grocery store where Eddie Albert is clerking. He manages to trap the lion behind a counter and gets a lot of plaudits and an offer from Bogart to work in his circus.

But jealousy rears its ugly head as Bogart's sister Joan Leslie and his girl friend Sylvia Sidney both fall for who Bogart considers a nice kid, but a hick.

The Wagons Roll at Night was a transitional film between two acclaimed Bogart productions High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. It was NOT the first time Bogart received number one billing. He did in a few other films like Black Legion for example. But with the acclaim he got from High Sierra, Jack Warner put him in this before the highly touted Dashiell Hammett adaption, I guess as a trial run.

The plot is based on Kid Galahad where oddly enough Bogart had a supporting role. Eddie Albert shows only a bit of his incredible talent. Joan Leslie as the nice sister basically repeats the part she had from High Sierra. Sylvia Sidney does well as the love lost carnival fortune teller with eyes for both Bogart and Albert.

Personally though I've always liked what Sig Ruman did in this film as the drunken lion tamer whose place Albert took. The film is at its best when he's on screen.


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