|Directed by||Charles Walters|
|Produced by||Jack Cummings|
|Screenplay by||Dorothy Kingsley|
|Story by||George Wells|
|Music by||David Rose|
|Edited by||Adrienne Fazan|
|Distributed by||Loew's, Inc.|
|October 5, 1951|
A dunk tank at a Texas carnival is operated by Debbie Telford and partner Cornie Quinell. An honest man, Cornie helps the inebriated Dan Sabinas, a millionaire rancher, who is being taken advantage of at another carny booth.
A grateful Dan is put in a taxi, with Cornie promising to return his car. Dan drunkenly has the cab take him to Mexico instead.
As Cornie and Debbie drive to Dan's hotel in his car, they end up being mistaken for Dan and wealthy sister Marilla. In time, Cornie comes to enjoy the lap of luxury and is attracted to lovely Sunshine Jackson, whose dad is the sheriff. Debbie is courted by Dan's handsome foreman, Slim Shelby, who pretends not to know she's an impostor.
In a poker game, Cornie is unaware that jellybeans being used for chips are worth big money. He loses $17,000 that he can't repay unless he can win a Texas chuck wagon race. Debbie's in hot water, too, because the real Marilla is suspicious of her.
Dan finally returns but can't recall who Cornie is. In an attempt to get Dan drunk again, Cornie gets tipsy instead and needs to drive his chuck wagon that way. But all ends well when he and Debbie end up with their new loves.
- Esther Williams as Debbie Telford
- Red Skelton as Cornie Quinell
- Howard Keel as Slim Shelby
- Ann Miller as Sunshine Jackson
- Paula Raymond as Marilla Sabinas
- Keenan Wynn as Dan Sabinas
- Glenn Strange as Tex Hodgkins
- Tom Tully as Sheriff Jackson
The film was originally called The Carnival Story and was originally envisioned as a vehicle for Betty Hutton. Then it was announced in February 1950 as a vehicle for Williams and Skelton; it was their third movie together, after Bathing Beauty and Neptune's Daughter. Filming was pushed back because of Williams' pregnancy. In August Howard Keel and Ann Miller joined the cast.
The film was retitled Texas Carnival in November 1950.
In December 1950 MGM announced Charles Walters would direct. Filming started February 1951.
According to MGM records the film earned $2,366,000 in the US and Canada and $1,454,000 in other countries, resulting in a profit of $681,000.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- "BARRY SULLIVAN GETS FILM LEAD". New York Times. Feb 8, 1950. p. 40.
- Schallert, Edwin (July 24, 1950). "Skelton to Go Straight; Rains in Sea Thriller; U-I Buys Best Seller". Los Angeles Times. p. A7.
- Schallert, Edwin (Aug 11, 1950). "'Carnival' Goes All Star; Piper Lacturie Top Billed; Jean Peters 'Lone Woman'". Los Angeles Times. p. A7.
- "HARARI'S COMEDY TO BE MADE FILM". New York Times. Nov 4, 1950. p. 13.
- Hopper, Hedda (Dec 8, 1950). "Looking at Hollywood: 'Fighting U. S. Coast Guards' to Star Brian Donlevy". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. b1.