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Carnivale: The Complete First Two Seasons (2006)

Michael J. Anderson , Adrienne Barbeau , Alan Taylor , Alison Maclean  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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DVD 1-Disc Version $49.44  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Patrick Bauchau, Clancy Brown, Debra Christofferson
  • Directors: Alan Taylor, Alison Maclean, Dan Lerner, Jack Bender, Jeremy Podeswa
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Russian
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: July 18, 2006
  • Run Time: 1440 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FL7C8C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,511 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Carnivale: The Complete First Two Seasons" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Nick Stahl, Clancy Brown, Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau. A traveling carnival at the time of the Great Depression has a healer among its crew and he will go head-to-head with an Evangelical minister in a classic struggle of good vs. evil. Includes 24 episodes on 12 DVDs. 2003-05/color/approx 22 hrs/TV-MA/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Easily as eliptic, complex and mysterious as "Twin Peaks" with more magic in its soul "Carnivale" only lasted two seasons on HBO because the witless suits didn't have the imagination to see the value the series added to their schedule. Keep in mind these are the same folks that also cancelled their second most watched series "Deadwood" after having already renewed if for a third.

Set during the 1934 dustbowl we first meet the ragtag members of the Carnivale as they pass through Oklahoma. Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) mother has just died. His home is about to be bulldozed and the dust storms that struck the midwest rage incessantly. Jonesy (Tim DeKay)the head roustabout stands up to those about to destroy Hawkins home and helps him bury his mom as do the other members of the carnival. Suddenly their family whether Hawkins likes it or not.

It seems Hawkins has the ability to heal others and perform miracles. He's a lost soul in denial of his abilities and focused on discovering who he is. Across the U.S. in California Preacher Brother Justin Crowe (Clancy Brown "The Shawshank Redemption" and Mr. Crabs in "Spongebobsquarepants")discovers he has a similar gift but through circumstances beyond his control this fire and brimstone preacher who wants to do good loses his faith in God and finds himself on a very different path from the uncommunicative, uncertain Hawkins. The two men are linked both by their abilities and a series of dreams. "Carnivale" gives us their stories as they discover whether they are good or evil and find a place in the world for who they are as well as who they become.

Featuring an excellent cast (Michael J.
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
To me this was the absolute finest production ever made for television/cable and because "only" several million totally devoted viewers could not get HBO to finish the four or five year series, we are left with two and will never know where this journey could have taken us all. It is magnificent but it is painful to watch because you know that it is unfinished "business." I for one have never watched HBO again because to make the time and emotional investment in Carnivale that so many of us made only to hear we didn't count, says to me that they can and most likely will do the same thing again.

HBO seems to thrive on super violent material that is laced with meaningless four letter words. The actors on _The Sopranos_ certainly have a payroll that out does the production costs of Carnivale yet maybe there is no room even on cable for works of complexity that demand that viewers think.

So buy it and yes, HBO owns it and will profit - but just this one last time. They abused their trust and far be it from me to ever again add to their coffers.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of THEE best HBO Series!!!!!! June 24, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Why HBO didn't renew this series, I'll never know. It's based back in the "dust bowl" era of America with a boy in a traveling circus and a preacher gone evil. It deals with the power to heal, good vs evil, and more. Carnivable was based in a time of nobility. However man created wonder for reason. And the show takes you back to that time of wonder and after each episode you think back to that time of nobility.

A very well made series! But why didn't HBO keep going with it????
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'm always slightly behind the curve when it comes to appreciating a cult show like CARNIVALE. (I didn't start watching OZ until it had been on for years and then watched 3 seasons in one week.)

The most strikingly thing about CARNIVALE is how the cast is a pitch-perfect mix of character actors, unknowns and modestly famous celebs. Anytime you see Clancy Brown AND Amy Madigan AND Patrick Bauchau in the same cast credits, you know it will be good! Cynthia Ettinger is flawless as the world-weary stripper/prostitute who falls painfully in love with Tim McKay's heroic Jonesy. Nick Stahl and Clea DuVall are both outstanding as young characters already damaged by Depression-era lives and relentless bad luck. Michael J. Anderson deftly plays the leader of the troupe as he walks a tightrope between deception and power.

Show creator Daniel Knauf apparently struggled for years to make it as a teleplay writer and then when the first season of CARNIVALE was completed had to struggle again to convince HBO to make the second season. Knauf currently writes for SPARTACUS BLOOD & SAND.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA creator Ronald D. Moore was an exec producer on the first season of CARNIVALE and he has said he was very sad when it was canceled after two seasons.

The set and costume design (which won several Emmys and was nominated for at least a dozen) is flawless. You can almost feel the dust and dirt on your face in several scenes. The economic and cultural desperation resonates in the show as we watch victims of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl wander across a sun-blasted American West in search of any sort of salvation.

Watch CARNIVALE and be amazed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Show that is NOT a Joke, which died way too Early August 16, 2009
Carnivale is a unique Television experience that I would recommend to anyone. That is the short version of my review. But let us look at why I state this. Prior to actually watching the show, I had no idea what it was about, save for the fact that I vaguely remember the show being broadcast on HBO. But I had thought that the show was entirely about carnies and to me that did not sound appealing. For awhile I continued to avoid this show, until about 3 months ago when I finally broke down and made the purchase. I had been reading the various reviews on how great of a show this was and how it had died early. The current price for both seasons is a steal!!

When they finally arrived at my house I had no idea what I was about to get myself into. Ripping the plastic cover off season 1, I placed the first cd into my dvd player and began to workout. For me the best time to watch TV shows was during a good bike ride. The initial opening sequence was gripping and my bike ride soon became of secondary importance.

Two days later I had watched both seasons and I did not want to leave the world of Carnivale. Watching how Daniel Knauf intertwined the two stories of Ben Hawkins (good) and Brother Justin Crowe (evil) was fascinating. But what was even more intriguing was the constant struggle between good and evil. Although this was a "basic" struggle, what Mr. Knauf succeeded in doing was showing how both characters were corrupted by their surroundings and the events that took place. Both characters were prisoners of Mr. Knauf's story and as such, were destined to become enemies. These characters were very real and at times I found myself immersed in their stories. Call me crazy, but I felt as if I were living in the world of Carnivale. That is how good this series is and why I recommend it to everyone.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I wish there as more to see....
Published 19 days ago by Cristina Lemes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just two seasons; I wish they did more
Published 1 month ago by Richard Woods
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Donna Simmons
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Cherie Dwelle
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my Favs
This show was amazing, way before its time. This had more potential than Game of Thrones and I read the books. Thats saying something. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Milad
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware
I've yet to find anything quite like it. Dirty American magic, the old world and the new, the dust, and the dust of Ages.
Published 4 months ago by Ahasverus
4.0 out of 5 stars carnivale
It came quickly in perfect condition but I had hoped to find one cheaper. Its old and HBO didn't finish it. Maybe its because its obscure and not popular that its so pricey. Read more
Published 4 months ago by lisa goin
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!!!
It has a great story line in my opinion. I watched it when it first came out and just bought it to watch again. Buy it, watch it, make up your own mind if you're allowed?
Published 5 months ago by David R. Spalding
5.0 out of 5 stars Why was this show cancelled
I want more! Great characters! Interesting plots that develop well. Traveling with a circus without leaving my living room is proved to be much safer than actually being on the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by mary ellen
5.0 out of 5 stars Carnivale
Watched this years ago when it first came out. Was very disappointed when it stopped/ended. A very mind bending series. Excellent!
Published 8 months ago by Cindy
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