Friday, March 25, 2011
Ginger Rogers Film Review #8: Carnival Boat
Run Time (approximate): 62 minutes.
Directed by: Albert S. Rogell.
Produced by: Charles R. Rogers.
Associate Producer: Harry Joe Brown.
Screenplay by: James Seymour.
Story by: Marion Jackson and Don Ryan.
Also Starring: Bill Boyd (as Buck Gannon), Fred Kohler (as Hack Logan), Hobart Bosworth (as Jim Gannon), Marie Prevost (as Babe), Edgar Kennedy (as Baldy), Harry Sweet (as Stubby), Charles Sellon (as Lane), Eddie Chandler (as Jordon), Walter Percival (as DeLacey), Jack Carlyle (as DeLacey's Assistant (uncredited)), Sam Harris (undetermined role (uncredited)), Joe Smith Marba (as Windy (uncredited)), Jim Mason (as Logger (uncredited)), Larry McGrath (as Second Bartender (uncredited)), Bob Perry (as Bartender Bob (uncredited)), Hal Price (as Observer (uncredited)), Charles Sullivan (as Logger (uncredited)).
Ginger's Character: "Honey"
Ginger 'Screen Time': Approx. 11 min, 40 sec. (18.8% of the film)
Ginger Tunes: "How I Could Go For You"
Gingery Goodness Factor (GGF) (1-10): (6.5) - Generally a bit more Gingery goodness than in "Suicide Fleet", although the same role of Ginger as love interest which pines for her man and of course lands on her feet in the end... the difference in rank here is due to the addition of a GingerTune in this one, and a good bit more 'Sassiness', in the 'getting her dander up' sense.
GingerFilm Ranking: #4 of (8) Reviewed
Film Quality (1-10): (8.0) - TCM copy viewed - Not bad, a few 'brief' rough spots.
Available From: TCM Huey's Review for Gingerology: Ginger's third and final effort at RKO-Pathe falls generally somewhere between the previous two roles, The Tip-Off and Suicide Fleet. She plays Honey (that's all the name she needs, right? :-] ), a singer-dancer on the... Carnival Boat! WHAT, you may ask, the heck is a Carnival Boat? Well, let's back up a bit... our story begins in the High Sierras, where there's gonzo amounts of timber to be felled... so a large corporation has set up camp there to confiscate all this lumber (I always wonder what happens to this wood they show being toted off...heck, it could be part of one of our houses, or an antique piece of furniture someone out there has...kinda neat to think about that...). The BIG boss informs the SORTA BIG boss Jim Gannon (Hobart Bosworth) that the camp that Jim's son Buck (Bill Boyd) is in charge of is under performing. Of course, Jim defends Buck, but when it is shown that the dudes at camp are goofing off in lieu of performing actual production work, Jim jumps into the site and wreaks havoc, and nearly keels over with a heart attack in the process. Buck knows he has to get everything in good shape to calm the old man down, so he gets to it...but not before moseying on down to the floating saloon (i.e., 'Carnival Boat') which has docked down at the river...upon which the desire of Buck's heart, Miss Honey, is found...he has been courting this little showgirl for awhile now, and is ready to pop the big question... he figures out a way to get his point across, and she accepts. Just about then, Daddy Jim barges onto the barge in a very barge-like manner, and runs all the men off of there, as he sees the boat as just bilking the dudes out of their bread, and giving them more ways to waste time, company or otherwise. Well, Buck flyes outta there with his pop, which obviously flies all over Honey...but dude only escorts his dad off the boat, then returns back to Honey...so there is hope for dude. However, the nuptials are at best in limbo at this point... Meanwhile, back at the camp, Hack Logan (Fred Kohler) has been eyeing Buck's job for quite awhile - and sees that if Buck marries Honey, Buck will quit the logging game, leaving the position for Hack to scoop up. However, when it appears that Buck and Honey isn't going to happen, he reverts to a scheme of generally 'taking Buck out' of the picture, as logging operations are quite conducive to 'accidents'... well, that sets the scene for y'all, and I'll leave the rest for your perusal. A pretty neat, if SHORT, movie...has to be the shortest 'non-short' film Ginger was involved in. VKMfanHuey ---
Favorite Ginger Line(s) / Moment(s): ...Ginger's tune is probably the most memorable scene for her, as she is all dolled up in a white chiffon number, pretty as the proverbial picture...although the pic below quite honestly doesn't even look like Ginger...but it is, honest... "DUDE...wake up! You've been snorting too much sawdust..." ...Honey in mid-verse...a cute song, even tho it is a BIT 'baby-voiced', it is really quite OK with Ginger doing the honors. ...she is pretty dang cute in this hat, y'all... ...dude asks for Honey's hand in marriage... ...and all is wickedawesome... ...until Pa Dude shows up... ...Let's call this pic "Ginger fixin' to get medieval"... ...Honey meets the ol' man... ...OK, yep, I think she is beautiful even when she's angry...but the 'lower' eye makeup or whatever almost, kinda, has somewhat of a 'GingerZombie'-like effect...of course even a GingerZombie is cute as all get-out...as a side note, her lips are just slap-dawg incredible...ok...just needed to add that. ...Honey after the smackdown, fearing Buck is gone... ...Well, this shot is pretty familiar to G-ologists...I've seen this pic a few times, but honestly didn't know the movie it was from...so there's your 'fact for the day'... ...Honey going to make amends with Pa Gannon... ...AWESOME eyes here... ...and, here we go again...these two just aren't on the same page... ...which leaves Honey again in a lurch (whatever THAT is...) regarding her ultimate status with Buck...
Other Reviews: "This fast-moving story of a life in a logging camp, the first of its type since talking pictures were introduced, is a splendid film offering Bill Boyd, Hobart Bosworth and Ginger Rogers, and an interesting sight of actual happenings in the land of the big trees. It is a picture well worth seeing... Ginger Rogers shows a new flair for dramatics." -Winnipeg Free-Press
"Boyd, no longer the insufferable smart-aleck, plays sincerely, with Ginger Rogers seen to better advantage as the girl from the boat than in her earlier screen efforts." -Variety
From Ginger: My Story: "The third film, to round out my deal with Pathe, was Carnival Boat, filmed on location in the Sierra Nevadas. It was an action-filled story of a logging operation and contained many thrilling stunts. I played a carnival boat entertainer and sang "How I Could Go For You." Again I worked with Bill Boyd, and Hobart Bosworth, that wonderful character actor, played his father. As director, Al Rogell gave his personal attention to all three of these films."
Miscellaneous Stuff: --- Original 'working' titles for the film were "Timber Beast" and "Bad Timber".
--- The 'runaway train' scene was printed in reverse in the final print, as indicated by the 'backwards' writing on the rail cars.
--- An alternate title for Ginger's tune is "How I Could Love You".
--- Filmed on location at Sugar Pine Hill in the High Sierras.
--- Another tune for the film, "Run Around" by Max Steiner, was cut from the final film - not specific as to who would have sung it, but most likely Ginger.
GingerFilm 'rankings' through EIGHT reviews:
#1: The Tip-Off;
#2: Queen High;
#3: Young Man of Manhattan;
#4: Carnival Boat;
#5: The Sap from Syracuse;
#6: Suicide Fleet;
#7: Follow The Leader;
#8: Honor Among Lovers.
Up Next: "The Tenderfoot" - Ginger jumps studios again, this time in a First National & Vitaphone feature, starring Joe E. Brown as a bumbling, yet sage, Texas rancher who drags his life savings to New York in order to 'invest' in show biz... not too bad, in fact, one of my fave 'Pre-Fred - Ginger as love interest' roles... Until then...