Texas Carnival

Overview

MGM's new musical screen team of Esther Williams and Howard Keel were given plenty to do in the pleasant if unambitious songfest Texas Carnival. Williams plays Debbie Telford, one-half of a carnival performing team. The other half is Corny Quinnell Red Skelton, who breaks up the act when he is mistaken for Texas millionaire Dan Sabinas Keenan Wynn. Living high on the hog in Sabinas' absence, Corny manages to smooth the romantic path for Debbie and ranch foreman Slim Shelby Keel, while he dallies with the luscious...
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Overview

MGM's new musical screen team of Esther Williams and Howard Keel were given plenty to do in the pleasant if unambitious songfest Texas Carnival. Williams plays Debbie Telford, one-half of a carnival performing team. The other half is Corny Quinnell Red Skelton, who breaks up the act when he is mistaken for Texas millionaire Dan Sabinas Keenan Wynn. Living high on the hog in Sabinas' absence, Corny manages to smooth the romantic path for Debbie and ranch foreman Slim Shelby Keel, while he dallies with the luscious Sunshine Jackson Ann Miller. Red Skelton is given more opportunity to shine than usual, especially during a riotous poker game this scene was a particular favorite of screenwriter Dorothy Kingsley, who felt it could have been even funnier had director Charles Walters "punched it up" cinematically. Esther Williams' particular highlight is a swimming sequence in a waterless hotel room, a bit of special-effects wizardry that only the MGM tech staff could have dreamed up.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
As Texas Carnival amply demonstrates, you don't watch an Esther Williams movie for its screenplay (let alone its plot); you watch it to see what Williams does in the water. Texas Carnival skimps somewhat on the aquatic star's time in the water, but the one big ballet it provides is a doozy. Choreographer Hermes Pan and MGM's special-effects technicians do an excellent job of superimposing the star's routine over and around co-star Howard Keel's hotel room, creating an impressive two or three minutes. The rest of the film is amazingly routine, with almost no spark or imagination from director Charles Walters and a screenplay that is built-to-order for its stars but clunky and mechanical. Harry Warren and Dorothy Fields' score is somewhat better -- pleasant but unremarkable -- which means that it's up to the cast to make Texas Carnival work. Fortunately, they're up the task. Williams is no great actress, but she's fine, as is Keel; but it's the secondary Red Skelton and Ann Miller who make Texas come alive, even with less than stellar material. The stars -- and that one ballet -- make Texas Carnival worth the occasional look.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/1/2011
  • UPC: 883316336878
  • Original Release: 1951
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Region Code: 0
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:17:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 2,725

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Esther Williams Debbie Telford
Red Skelton Cornie Quinell
Howard Keel Slim Shelby
Ann Miller Sunshine Jackson
Paula Raymond Marilla Sabinas
Keenan Wynn Dan Sabinas
Tom Tully Sheriff Jackson
Glenn Strange Tex Hodgkins
Donald MacBride Concessionaire
Marjorie Wood Mrs. Gaytes
Hans Conried Hotel clerk
Thurston Hall Mr. Gaytes
Duke Johnson Juggler
Wilson Wood Bell Boy
Red Norvo Themselves
Douglas Carter Cab Driver
Jack Daley
Michael Dugan Card player
Bess Flowers
Robert Fortier
Earl Hodgins Doorman
Emmett Lynn Cook
Rhea Mitchell Dealer
Gil Patric Assistant Clerk
Joe Roach
Alex Romero
Fred Santley People in Lobby
Dick Wessel Concessionair #1
Foy Willing Specialty
Technical Credits
Charles Walters Director
Jack Cummings Producer
Adrienne Fazan Editor
William Ferrari Art Director
Dorothy Fields Score Composer
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Keogh Gleason Set Decoration/Design
Dorothy Kingsley Screenwriter
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Hermes Pan Choreography
Robert Planck Cinematographer
David Rose Musical Direction/Supervision
Helen Rose Costumes/Costume Designer
Don Swander Songwriter
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Harry Warren Score Composer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
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