Watch Carny

"When you're young and going nowhere... the Carny looks like a good way out."
  • R
  • 1980
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 6.4  (2,400)
  • 68

Carny is a 1980 drama film that follows the life of a traveling carnival, capturing the grittiness and desperation of the people who run it. The film stars Gary Busey as Frankie, a carnival worker who has been with the show for years and has seen it all. Jodie Foster plays Donna, a young woman who joins the carnival as a ticket seller and longs for a better life. Robbie Robertson plays Patch, a charismatic magician and carnival owner who is the driving force behind the show.

The movie opens with the carnival workers setting up their tents and rides in a small town. We are immediately introduced to the gritty and seedy environment that the carnival workers inhabit. The first character we meet is Frankie, a carny who has been with the show for years. He is a rough and tough guy who takes no nonsense from anyone.

As the carnival begins to fill up with people, we see Donna arrive. She is a young and beautiful woman who is looking for a way out of her mundane life. She is immediately drawn to Patch, the charismatic magician who runs the show. Patch takes Donna under his wing and she soon becomes part of the carnival family.

As the carnival travels across the country, we get a glimpse into the lives of the workers who make up this traveling show. We see the desperation of those who have been working the carnival for years and their sense of hopelessness about ever escaping this life. We also see the dreams and aspirations of those like Donna, who are looking for a way out of their current circumstances.

Throughout the film, we are introduced to a variety of characters who make up the carnival community. There is Clem, a strongman who is struggling to hold onto his masculinity, and also Rita, a dancer who is pushing 40 and wondering if she will ever find love. Each character has their own story and their own aspirations.

As the carnival makes its way across the country, the relationships between the characters begin to unravel. There is tension between Frankie and Patch, and Donna begins to realize that the life of a carny may not be what she expected. The film explores the idea of identity and the struggle to find oneself in a world that is constantly shifting.

One of the most striking aspects of Carny is its visual style. The film has a gritty and raw feel to it, with a focus on capturing the environment of the carnival. Director Robert Kaylor uses bold colors and harsh lighting to create a sense of tension and unease throughout the film. The scenes of the carnival moving from town to town are particularly effective, with the camera capturing the excitement and chaos of the workers setting up and tearing down the rides.

The performances in the film are also noteworthy. Gary Busey delivers a standout performance as Frankie, the hardened carny who has seen it all. Jodie Foster brings a vulnerability to Donna, a character who is trying to find her place in the world. And Robbie Robertson is perfectly cast as Patch, the charismatic and enigmatic magician who runs the show.

In conclusion, Carny is a powerful and gritty film that captures the desperation and hopelessness of the carnival world. The film explores the idea of identity and the struggle to find oneself in a world that is constantly shifting. The visual style and performances are both impressive, creating a sense of tension and unease throughout the film. It is a must-see for fans of character-driven dramas.

Carny is a 1980 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 68.

Where to Watch Carny
Carny is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Carny for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (2,400)
  • Metascore