GenreAction, Crime, Drama ScreenplayRonald Davidson Duration CountryUnited States
Release date27 June 1955 CastHarry Lauter (Bert King), Fran Bennett (June Edwards), Keith Richards (Daley), Robert Shayne (Jess Carter), Gregory Gaye (Zorn (as Gregory Gay)) Similar moviesThe Dark Knight Rises, Hitman: Agent 47, The Dark Knight, The Amazing Spider-Man, Mission: Impossible II, Batman Begins
TaglineDEATH HAUNTS THE CARNIVAL! In one breath-taking episode after another! Don't Miss It!
King of the Carnival (1955) is a Republic movie serial. It contains a substantial amount of stock footage from the earlier Republic serial Daredevils of the Red Circle. This was the 66th and last serial ever made by Republic and is often considered to be one of the worst produced by that company. The plot concerns Treasury Agents investigating a Cold War counterfeiting operation believed to be connected to a circus.
Treasury Agents Art Kerr and Jim Haynes are investigating a global counterfeiting operation believed to be linked to the circus. Acrobat Bert King agrees to help his old friend Art (they were both paratroopers in the war) in searching for the counterfeiters; his acrobatic partner "June Edwards" assists him actively. From the start of their involvement, they find themselves repeatedly threatened by two thugs, "Daley" and "Travis". Early evidence leads Bert and June to a cave which leads to an isolated beach, and contains gear belonging to the gang. They are unaware, however, that in a minisub off this beach's shoreline hides Zorn, the counterfeiter who is printing the phoney bills. Ultimately, however, the evidence points to an unknown, higher authority directing the operations of these men, and apparently indeed someone connected with the circus. Among the most suspicious-acting of the circus staff are Burton the clown, and any of three "rubes", at least one of whom seems to be lurking by when something threatens the life of Bert or June.
Harry Lauter as Bert King, acrobat and former paratrooper
Fran Bennett as June Edwards, acrobat
Keith Richards as Daley, Henchman
Terry Frost as Travis, Henchman
Robert Shayne as Jess Carter, Circus ringmaster
Rick Vallin as Agent Art Kerr, a T-Man (Treasury Agent) and former paratrooper
Robert Clarke as Agent Jim Hayes, a T-Man (Treasury Agent)
Gregory Gay as Zorn, agent of a foreign power
Lee Roberts as Hank
Small role players
Mauritz Hugo as Sam, Sideshow barker and Henchman
Chris Mitchell as Bill
Stuart Whitman as Mac, Acrobat
Tom Steele as Matt Winston, Acrobat
George DeNormand as Garth
King of the Carnival was budgeted at $172,995 although the final negative cost was $177,050 (a $4,055, or 2.3%, overspend). It was the cheapest Republic serial of 1955.
It was filmed between 8 March and 25 March 1955 under the working title King of the Circus. At seventeen days this is the joint-shortest, with Zombies of the Stratosphere, filming period of all Republic serials. The serial's production number was 1800.
Republic liked calling their heroes "King" in order to use the title "King of..." The studio had found success with this naming scheme following the adaptation of Zane Grey's King of the Royal Mounted.
Tom Steele. Whereas Republic serials traditionally employed a small army of stuntmen, Steele was the only stuntman required for "King of the Carnival."
Special effects created by the Howard and Theodore Lydecker.
King of the Carnival's official release date is 27 June 1955, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.
This was the last new serial released by Republic. However the studio continued with a release schedule of re-released serials until 1958, beginning with a re-release of Dick Tracy's G-Men and ending with Zorro's Fighting Legion.
Daredevils of the Air (20 min)
Death Takes the Wheel (13 min 20s)
The Trap that Failed (13 min 20s)
Operation Murder (13 min 20s)
The Mechanical Bloodhound (13 min 20s)
Undersea Peril (13 min 20s)
High Hazard (13 min 20s)
Death Alley (13 min 20s)
Cave of Doom (13 min 20s)
The Masked Executioner (13 min 20s) -- Re-Cap Chapter