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Carny (1980)

R | | Drama | 23 May 1980 (USA)
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Tired of her dull job as a waitress, Donna decides to join two carnival hustlers and see what life in their field is like.

Director:

Robert Kaylor

Writers:

Phoebe Kaylor (story), Robert Kaylor (story) (as Robbie Kaylor) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Busey ... Frankie
Jodie Foster ... Donna
Robbie Robertson ... Patch
Meg Foster ... Gerta
Kenneth McMillan ... Heavy St. John
Elisha Cook Jr. ... On-Your-Mark
Tim Thomerson ... Doubles
Teddy Wilson ... Nails (as Theodore Wilson)
John Lehne John Lehne ... Skeet
Bill McKinney ... Marvin Dill
Bert Remsen ... Delno Baptiste
Woodrow Parfrey ... W. C. Hannon
Alan H. Braunstein Alan H. Braunstein ... Willie Mae (as Alan Braunstein)
Tina Andrews ... Sugaree
Craig Wasson ... Mickey
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Storyline

A carnival comes to a small town. Eighteen year old Donna meets Frankie and Patch, two carnival hustlers. They earn their living by mercilessly taunting spectators to try to dump one of them into the water by throwing balls. Donna is tired of her work as a waitress and follows them through the South. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where love is just another sucker's game. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Feira Ambulante See more »

Filming Locations:

Savannah, Georgia, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,817,720, 31 December 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorimar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robbie Robertson, who plays Patch, worked summer jobs in the traveling carny circuit when he was fourteen and fifteen, respectively. Besides providing inspiration for this film, Robertson's experiences working in the carny circuit as a teenager also inspired the song "Life is a Carnival" by The Band. See more »

Goofs

While Mickey is at the roulette joint, Doubles is seen ringing a bell while wearing a tan plaid shirt. The audio of the bell ringing and Doubles' line "I tell ya, the boy has me in a corner" carries over to a shot of Mickey. When the shot switches back to Doubles a few seconds later, his tan plaid shirt has suddenly changed to a solid dark shirt with a denim jacket over it. See more »

Quotes

Donna: If I had the money for a bus ticket I'd leave right now.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Being John Malkovich (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Last Waltz meets Paper Moon
20 April 2005 | by karmacoupeSee all my reviews

I saw this in the theater in winter/spring on 1980 -- haven't seen it since (geez, 25 years!) until these showings on the Canadian movie station. a lot more risqué than i remembered it!

it's sure captivating,engrossing, hypnotic, alluring, inviting. jodie's in her young hottie period, and robbie's the eye candy for the girls. he's sort of playing a sequel to The Last Waltz's "it's a god-damn impossible way of life." busey's fabulously enraged and possessed -- pre-wacko period. the music and soundtrack is superb. and GREAT casting. Fred Ward's a great surprise! never seen him give a bad performance.

seems like the most real circus movie i've even. i remember these traveling ferris-wheel freak-show ball-toss circus from my childhood, and it looks exactly as i remember it. (also, Movie Connection! this real traveling midwestern circus is captured briefly in Festival Express, a documentary about a 1970 train trip across Canada with Janis Joplin as Jodie Foster, Rick Danko as Gary Busey, and Robbie Robertson in his other role as a band-leader! :-) i'm certainly not bothered by the "lack of a plot" or whatever people seem to complain about -- a lot of my favorite art is not plot driven. say, Catcher in The Rye, for another young runaway story.

Pull a string! Enjoy the ride!


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