Texas Carnival

Texas Carnival is a 1951 American Technicolor musical film directed by Charles Walters and starring Esther Williams, Red Skelton and Howard Keel.

Texas Carnival
Film poster
Directed byCharles Walters
Produced byJack Cummings
Written byDorothy Kingsley (screenplay and story)
George Wells (story)
StarringEsther Williams
Red Skelton
Howard Keel
Music byDavid Rose
CinematographyRobert Planck
Edited byAdrienne Fazan
Distributed byLoew's, Inc.
Release date
October 5, 1951
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3,820,000[1]


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.



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.[1]


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
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