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GARY BUSEY & JODIE FOSTER IN 'CARNY' W/ ROBBIE ROBERTSON

Title: CARNY Year: 1980 Rating: ***1/2

Be prepared for freaks and frolic, white trash marauders and by far one of the strange romances ever to be filmed… And if you can handle an over five-minute scene with Gary Busey’s crazy clown-faced Frankie sitting in a dunk booth, yelling taunts at anyone and everyone to take a turn throwing a ball to bring him into the water… all for a price, mind you… then you’ll really enjoy CARNY co-starring teenage Jodie Foster as freespirited Donna...

Saddled with such an uptight and jerky date (Craig Wasson) that anyone would be a better fit, she takes to Frankie’s charm right away, and soon joins him in the sack and on the road, into the life of the Carnies, and The Band guitarist Robbie Robertson, as Patch, Frankie’s more serious-minded partner, is the even-keeled metronome that keeps everything under control, distrusting his buddy’s lustful romance with the teenager, who seems to have cursed the outfit by her presence alone...

Jodie Foster in CARNY

These Carnies (from barker Elisha Cook Jr., Meg Foster and backstage boss Kenneth McMillan) are actually Con Artists, and we see each Carnival game, from pulling strings for money to throwing a ball to knock over a stuffed animal.... bilking more and more money from customers as the chemistry between the trio works along with the offbeat ride...

But halfway through something happens, or doesn't happen: Frankie and Patch become bitter and frustrated, arguing over the young girl as well as their questionable future while some bad investors want to end the entire gig, and it seems like a lucrative ten minutes was cut somewhere in the middle: turning an otherwise edgy glimpse into the Carnival existence into a DUKES OF HAZZARD episode.

Gary Busey in CARNY

Warner Archives DVD for CARNY
Jodie Foster and Craig Wasson in CARNY
Robbie Robertson in CARNY

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