Cast & Crew
When lumber company executive Charlie Lane comes to inspect a logging camp that is headed by his old friend, Jim Gannon, he is dismayed by the camp's poor productivity. While Jim claims that old machinery is the source of the problem, Charlie maintains that Jim's son Buck, who is the head lumberjack, is an ineffective leader. Consequently, when Charlie tells Jim, a thirty-year lumber veteran, that he is through as boss, he recommends that Hack Logan, Buck's logging rival, be groomed to take over the camp. Determined that Buck inherit his job, Jim forbids his son from spending a rowdy evening on the "carnival" boat, which has just docked on the river that borders the camp. Buck ignores his father's wishes, however, and rushes to meet Honey, a singer on the floating cabaret with whom he has fallen in love. During the evening, Buck proposes to Honey and, acting on Hack's conniving advice, promises to quit his job and leave the camp with her. As soon as she accepts Buck's proposal, however, Jim boards the boat and denounces Honey as a riverboat "floosy." The next day, Jim demands that a double load of timber to be shipped on the camp train, unaware that the train's air brakes are badly worn. When Hack and other lumberjacks refuse to carry the load, Jim takes over the chore himself. As the overloaded train hurtles down the mountainside, its brakes gone, Buck rides alongside on a cableway and eventually hops on top of one of the cars. After he uncouples several of the cars, Buck reconnects the brakes and prevents the train from crashing at full speed. Jim is hurt in the accident, however, and a sobered Buck vows to recoup the camp's losses and prove himself to his father. While Buck then drives himself and the other lumberjacks to fill the river with logs, Hack incites Honey by telling her that Buck is being "buffaloed" by his domineering father. Just before her boat is to sail, a discouraged Honey visits Jim and tells him that, while she is quitting the boat, she still expects Buck to move with her. After Jim insists that logging is in Buck's blood, Honey witnesses the new warmth and trust between Buck and his father and decides to sacrifice her love. As she is leaving, however, a log jam at the river dam threatens to destroy the camp. Buck volunteers to set the dynamite necessary to break up the jam and challenges Hack to join him. Although he succeeds in disrupting the jam, Buck becomes trapped in a crevice of the dam and asks Hack, who is on top of the dam, to save him. After Hack throws Buck a limp rope, he is tossed into the raging river by a log. In spite of Hack's betrayal, Buck saves him from drowning, but later beats him in a revenge brawl at the camp. The camp saved, Honey embraces Buck and tells him and his father that she is there to stay.
Harry Joe Brown
L. John Myers
Charles R. Rogers
Max R. Steiner
Carnival Boat was the third and last film Ginger Rogers made as part of an early three picture deal with RKO Pathé Pictures. It was also the third and final time Rogers worked under director Albert Rogell. Together they had previously made the films The Tip-Off (1931) and Suicide Fleet (1931), which also co-starred William Boyd. Rogers fans will enjoy Carnival Boat as one of her early film efforts in which she also performs one song: "How I Could Go For You".
Producer: Charles R. Rogers
Director: Albert Rogell
Screenplay: James Seymour; Marion Jackson, Don Ryan (story)
Cinematography: Ted McCord
Art Direction: Carroll Clark
Music: Arthur Lange, Harold Lewis (both uncredited)
Film Editing: John Link
Cast: Bill Boyd (Buck Gannon), Ginger Rogers (Honey), Fred Kohler (Hack Logan), Hobart Bosworth (Jim Gannon), Marie Prevost (Babe), Edgar Kennedy (Baldy), Harry Sweet (Stubby), Charles Sellon (Charley Lane), Eddie Chandler (Jordan), Walter Percival (DeLacey).
by Andrea Passafiume
Working titles were "Timber Beast" and then "Bad Timber".
The working titles of this film were Bad Timber and Timber Beast. A late October 1931 Hollywood Reporter news item claimed that scenes for the production were to be shot in "big tree locations near Fresno." A late November 1931 Film Daily news item announced that scenes had been shot at Pine Hill, CA. At the time of this production, Harry Sweet, who plays "Stubby" in the picture, was directing Edgar Kennedy, who plays Sweet's cohort, in his series of RKO-Pathé short comedies called "Mr. Average." Modern sources claim that RKO music director Arthur Lange co-wrote additional songs for the picture with Max Steiner, but no further evidence of his contribution has been found. Modern sources add James Mason and Hal Price to the cast.