skip navigation
Texas Carnival

Texas Carnival(1951)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)

DVDs from TCM Shop

Texas Carnival A penniless carnival worker... MORE > $14.36 Regularly $17.99 Buy Now


powered by AFI

DVDs from TCM Shop

Texas Carnival A penniless carnival worker... MORE > $14.36
Regularly $17.99
buy now

Cornie Quinell and his partner, Debbie Telford, run an unsuccessful dunk tank game at a Texas carnival. While good-hearted Cornie is out getting a hamburger for the hungry Debbie, he sees drunken rancher Dan Sabinas flashing a lot of money and saves him from getting fleeced at a hammer and nail game. Dan offers money and undying friendship to Cornie, who makes Dan take a cab to his hotel and promises to return his car later. Unknown to Cornie, Dan orders the cab driver to take him to Mexico instead of the hotel. A few minutes later, Cornie is confronted by the angry nail and hammer concessionaires, and barely manages to escape with Debbie. When they return Dan's expensive car to the hotel, the staff mistakes them for Dan and his sister Marilla, whom they have never seen. Cornie then goes to the Sabinas' suite, hoping to find Dan, while Debbie attracts attention at the pool because people thinks she is Marilla, the richest girl in Texas. As Debbie waits for Cornie to return, Slim Shelby, Dan's foreman, arrives and soon discovers that everyone thinks that Debbie is Marilla. Because he is attracted to Debbie, Slim says that he has never actually met Marilla or Dan. When Cornie realizes that people think he is Dan, he decides to enjoy the luxurious surroundings before Dan returns. Meanwhile, Debbie is so hungry that she faints in the pool and is rescued by Slim, who has not let on that he knows she is a fake. After Slim takes her to the suite, the doctor recommends that she eat something, and the starving Debbie devours an expensive room service meal. The next morning, Cornie is becoming used to their sumptuous surroundings, but the more practical Debbie is worried and wants to leave. Cornie convinces her to stay until Dan returns and can straighten things out, then goes to the lobby, where Sheriff Jackson, an oil millionaire, drags him to meet his daughter Sunshine. The exuberant Sunshine is attracted to Cornie and convinces him to spend the afternoon with her. Meanwhile, Debbie borrows clothes from Marilla's closet and goes to the lobby, but returns to the suite feigning a headache after running into Slim. When Cornie returns, Debbie again begs him to leave, and he admits that he had an accident in Dan's car while driving with Sunshine. A moment later, Slim arrives at the suite to escort "Marilla" to a banquet being given in her honor. Despite her nervousness, Debbie enjoys herself and starts to fall in love with Slim. The next morning, trying to escape Sunshine and her father, Cornie wanders into a poker game, unaware that the jellybeans that the wealthy players are using as chips represent thousands of dollars. He only realizes his mistake when one of the players, Tex Hodgkins, asks him for a check for $17,000 to cover his losses. The startled Cornie is saved only by Tex's suggestion that they settle the bet by seeing which one of them wins a scheduled chuck wagon race. After Cornie confesses everything to Debbie, who has kept meticulous records on their expenditures, she convinces him that they should sneak out right away. In the lobby though, when they see how Tex and the others treat a man who has welched on a mere $1.75 bet, they decide to try winning the race. At a campfire that night, Slim reveals his feelings to Debbie and tries to propose, but she runs away. The next day, a very hung over Dan turns up at the hotel and goes to his suite. Cornie and Debbie try to explain things to him, but Dan no longer remembers Cornie and is very surly. Realizing that Dan is a different person when he is sober, Debbie suggests that Cornie get him drunk, but Cornie is the one who winds up so drunk he passes out. When Dan tries to tell Sheriff Jackson that he is the real Dan Sabinas, though, the sheriff thinks Dan is the imposter. As the race is about to start, Cornie remains unconscious while Debbie tries to revive him in the first aid tent. When the real Marilla comes in, she tries to help Debbie until Slim enters the tent and Marilla discovers Debbie's deception just as Debbie realizes Slim's. Hearing Debbie's story, Marilla agrees to smooth things over with Dan if Cornie wins the chuck wagon race. Cornie is still drunk but manages to drive the chuck wagon and, despite an accidental encounter with some dynamite, wins the race. Sometime later, Debbie and Cornie are back on the midway, miserable until both Slim and Sunshine arrive and happily embrace their respective sweethearts.