Two-Fisted Carnival Boat (1932) Is Good Early RKO
A talker that I suspect was like many silents, being he-man stuff of wood-chopping, runaway trains, and dynamite to the dam. Latter is jammed by logs and Bill Boyd must blow 'em sky high to salvage north wood he commands. Carnival Boat only part-time serves its title, more of length spent among tall trees and challenge to fell them. This was a TCM find, way better than bulk of RKO-Pathe before shed of half that label and its absurdly crowing rooster atop a logo globe. Pathe survived as busy lot for rent to Selznick and others who had no studio of their own, then a site for much television. Wm. K. Everson wrote that Carnival Boat used stock footage from voiceless 20's to flesh out action, a lot of which is whole-hog excitement like serial chapters glued together to fill an hour. William Boyd is familiar"Bill" in credits, presumed pal to boys who liked him since actioning he did for DeMille and pre-talkie others. Boyd shows humor, virility, easy charm, that would later make him mentor to callow cowboys and youth watching, as definitive a stand-in for dad or big brother as any kid could want. It took westerns and continuing Hopalong Cassidy to confer immortality on Boyd. Economical as it was (negative cost:$217K), Carnival Boat still lost money during Depression-doped 1932 when dimes was hardest won. It's well worth TCM sit or place aboard the DVR.