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Red Wagon
Red Wagon“A circus story where an orphaned boy,
  cruelly treated by his foster mother,
  has ambitions to run his own circus and
  trains himself to be an expert trick rider,
  Red Wagon is a black-and-white film
  from 1933 that
s fascinating both for its
  period value and its human story..
.”

FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF HIS PARENTS during the sabotage of the circus they worked with in America owned by Cowboy Joe (Percy Parsons), young Joe Prince finds himself under the care of the kindly Harry Cronk (Alexander Field) and his cruel wife, who bring him back with them to England.

With the circus in his blood, Joe is determined to make good and grow up to own his own circus. During his teenaged years Joe (the screen debut of Jimmy Hanley, then 16, the Rank Organisation star who would become British cinemagoers' favourite 'Boy Next Door') teaches himself trick-riding and, when it looks as if becoming a grocer is his only option, he runs away to find a circus known to be heading for Taunton, Somerset.

“A great film with
all the appeal it needs
plus a fine cast,
intrigue and excitement,
tragedy and success
against the odds
...”
He meets a small family of Romany gypsies, who help him and offer to take him into Taunton; and with them is the sultry Starlina (Raquel Torres, who also played Sheba), who gives him his first grown-up kiss.

When he reaches the circus, he makes himself useful and sees a familiar face, who helps him to get a job. He rapidly proves himself as a star at trick-riding and Joe is back with the circus, albeit owned by Max Schultze (Paul Graetz) and his wife Petal (Hanley's future Huggetts co-star, Amy Veness), and on the road to fulfilling his dream of owning his own circus.

But will he achieve his ambitions? The grown up Joe (now played by American character actor Charles Bickford) finds that running your own circus isn't all it seems. He struggles through personal and business problems, including an attempted take-over by a rival circus owned by the ruthless Cranley (Francis L Sullivan).

Joe falls in love with Zara (silent-era star Greta Nissen), who is a star act with her tigers, and he gives her the master's wagon, known as the 'Red Wagon'.

But believing himself thwarted in love by his friend, the circus' medic Toby Griffiths (Anthony Bushell), Joe has his head turned by an unexpected arrival and makes a decision that is to have a devastating affect on them all.

Part of The British Film collection and adapted from the novel by Eleanor Smith, Red Wagon is a great film with all the appeal it needs plus a fine cast, intrigue and excitement, tragedy and success against the odds.

Red Wagon also features: Don Alvarado as Davey Heron; Nancy Brown as Lementina; Frank Pettingell as McGinty; Stella Bonheur as Ella; and Aubrey Mather as Blewett.

Musical Score is Composed and Conducted by Kurt Schroeder and is played by The London Symphony Orchestra; Cinematography by Jack E Cox; Writers are: Roger Burford, Edward Knoblock and Arthur B Woods from the novel by Lady Eleanor Smith; Produced by Walter C Mycroft; and Directed by Austrian émigré Paul L Stein.

* Red Wagon is a Network Distributing Title and is released in the UK on DVD on 30 September 2013. Running Time: 105 Minutes Approximately | Catalogue Number: 7953940 | RRP: £9.99.

"Red Wagon is a great film with all the appeal it needs plus a fine cast, intrigue and excitement, tragedy and success against the odds"
Maggie Woods