Carny (1980 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Carny FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Robert Kaylor
Produced by Robbie Robertson
Written by Phoebe Kaylor (story)
Robert Kaylor (story)
Robbie Robertson (story)
Thomas Baum
Starring Gary Busey
Jodie Foster
Robbie Robertson
Music by Alex North
Cinematography Harry Stradling, Jr.
Edited by Stuart H. Pappé
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates June 13, 1980
Running time 107 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Carny is a 1980 drama film about a waitress who joins a traveling carnival. It stars Gary Busey, Jodie Foster, and Robbie Robertson. It also includes an early role for Fred Ward.


Frankie and Patch are friends who take a small-time carnival from town to town, often bribing local authorities to let them stay.

Among their ruses to fleece the rubes is a dunk tank, in which Frankie perches, made up as a clown, and mercilessly heckles the customers. He is a public face of the carny, whereas Patch sticks to running the business behind the scenes.

Into their life comes Donna, a wayward 18-year-old who is bored with her life at home. Donna strikes up a friendship with Frankie and follows the carny on the circuit. She eventually joins the troupe, learning how to con customers and also doing an exotic dance that is more suggestive than lewd.

The dark and brooding Patch persuades others that Donna is capable of much more, implying that she would even consent to prostitute herself to make money for the traveling show, as others clearly have. Donna doesn't go that far, but Frankie does catch her in bed with Patch, straining the relationships of all three.



Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said, "Carny is bursting with more information about American carnivals than it can contain, surrounding a plot too thin to support it. ...Inside this movie is a documentary struggling to get out."[1]


  1. ^ Roger Ebert, "Carny" Review July 22, 1980

External links[edit]