Texas Carnival An guy and a girl who are working in a carnival’s dunk tank. When inebriated Texan comes to the booth he and the guy starts drinking. Eventually the Texan invites him to a function. When they get there he’s mistaken for the Texan and she for the man’s sister. Eventually he lost a wager and doesn’t know how he’s going to pay it. And the girl finds herself attracted to the Texan’s foreman.
Texas Carnival Delightful romp that blends the stars together in highly entertaining fashion. Red gets to mug it up in typical Skelton fashion, while studly Keel smooths in his baritone, and Miller taps her way into our hearts. Even mermaid Williams manages to get her fins on as well as show some acting chops. In fact, the highpoint in my little book is her almost eerie swim through the air in a fancy hotel room. In a flowing white gown she’s like a ghostly aquanaut thanks to trick photography. That scene is going to stay with me, strange as it is.
The plot, of course, is negligible— carnival barker Red’s mistaken for a Texas millionaire and has to act the part when he gets into trouble. I love it when Red and others talk about the great smell and feel of the Longhorn State while standing in front of a painted backdrop. In fact the production never leaves the San Fernando Valley, but who cares. Anyway, it’s just the kind of material and headliners that big budget MGM knew how to package in great escapist fashion. And to think Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide only gives it two stars out of four-was someone home asleep. Anyway, the Technicolor’s lavish, the stars in top form, and the pacing doesn’t dawdle. So catch up with it when you can, and remind Maltin to set his alarm.