Carnival Boat (1932)

  • Oh hey – Max Steiner!
  • Opening train scene (with train whistle)! This film is called “Carnival Boat” – I didn’t see that coming!
  • “They’re not working – they’re playing,” say the men on the train. They’re chopping down trees! I’m sorry, but that doesn’t seem like a fun time to me. They’re loggers, and now they’ve got two fewer trees in the forest! That’s progress! I mean, right…?
  • What do all of these logs and logging men have to do with “Carnival Boat”? I recorded this movie for carnival boating, not trees!
  • So…Jim (Hobart Bosworth) just got fired after 30 years with the company and wants his son Buck (William Boyd) to be named as his successor. I haven’t known Buck for very long, but I feel as though this isn’t likely. Buck seems like a dope.
  • Aha! The Carnival Boat has arrived!
  • I think the filmmakers forgot that Buck’s not like…20 years old. Buck looks 40. This seems weird. (Update: William Boyd was, in fact, 37 while making this movie. Bizarre casting choice, for sure.)
  • No, Ginger, no! You can do so much better than a 40-year-old man who talks like a 12-year-old and thinks “only about timber”!
  • Buck (to a fellow logger): Say, do you think a girl like Honey would like to live in a lumber camp?

I’ll take this one, man. NO, Buck. NO, Honey would NOT like to live in your goddamn lumber camp, especially if you’re the primary lumberist involved.

  • Ginger Rogers is a good sport in this, though. She plays her part like Buck’s being played by Gable or Cooper or someone like that. It’s nice work.
  • 90% of Buck’s lines end in “Dad.” As in:

Well – hello, Dad. / Aw, gee, Dad. / Oh, I don’t know, Dad. / You alright, Dad? / etc., etc.

  • Meanwhile, Buck is swinging through the air on a log. What the EFF. That sequence lasted way too long.
  • This movie is not about a boat carnival. This movie is about high stakes logging decisions and lumberman drama. I feel very deceived.
  • (What was that other movie about logging? That was also about incest or something? It had Joel McCrea in it, and someone else famous. Oh! Walter Brennan…but he wasn’t the main guy. Anyway – that was WAY better than this.) (Update: That other movie was COME AND GET IT (1936). And it was way better.)
  • Ginger’s by far the brightest spot in this whole dumb movie. She throws sparks in the ‘Honey vs. Dad’ scene.
  • These loggists are dumbasses. First they crash a train, then they bust an entire dam. Allegedly they’ve all been doing this “for years.” Sure doesn’t seem like they’ve retained much knowledge in that time. I mean, Jesus.
  • The ‘Floating with Logs’ sequence (that takes place right after the ‘Buck Saves the Day (?) with Dynamite’ event) is SUPER poorly executed. I mean, this really isn’t surprising, all else considered. But, you know…still.
  • I just remembered Max Steiner had a music credit on this. Was there music in this? (I didn’t notice any.) (Except that one song Honey sang on the Carnival Boat.)

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