Carnival Boat (1932)

Ginger Rogers and William Boyd in Carnival Boat (1932)

Honeyed Ginger

I would imagine like many the reason why I wanted to watch "Carnival Boat" is not so much the movie sounded entertaining but because it starred a young Ginger Rogers before she became the platinum blonde. And to be honest Ginger doesn't disappoint as she is as sweet and fun as ever but the movie itself is just so so with nothing really great about it. In truth you sort of expect it from a movie which runs for just a scratch over an hour and is pretty much forgotten these days.

With the lumber mill owner telling Jim Gannon (Hobart Bosworth) that it is time for him to retire Jim has one wish, for his son Buck (William Boyd) to take his place as manager. But Buck is not the most productive of workers and has a rival for the job in Hack Logan (Fred Kohler). Buck and Hack are not just rivals at work as when the carnival boat shows up they end up rivals over singer Honey (Ginger Rogers - Monkey Business) something which Jim is not happy about as he thinks with Honey around Buck won't work hard for the manager's job.

So as to the actual story to "Carnival Boat" well it is a simple affair as we have Jim disapproving of Buck's interest in Honey as he wants him to take over the management whilst Hack wanting the management position is willing to manipulate the situation to get Buck out of the way. That is it and along the way we have some romance, some action and some comedy although most of the comedy comes from the double act of Edgar Kennedy and Harry Sweet who as two lumber men fill the movie with slapstick. There is nothing wrong with any of that as it skips along and never has a dull moment but none of it is that memorable.

The exception to this is that there is some enjoyable cinematography when it focuses on the activities in the lumber yard. An opening shot of a train going through a wood with men riding on top is impressive and scene of trees being felled and shifted around grab your attention especially involving one with an out of cotrol train.

What this all boils down to is that for movie fans "Carnival Boat" is of interest because of it featuring a young Ginger Rogers but it ends up just light weight entertainment which at a little over an hour isn't too long.