Monday, April 09, 2012

Fearless Fagan on TCM this Friday (4/13)

The real Floyd Humeston with FaganThis Friday (April 13), Turner Classic Movies (US) is showing a forgotten little gem of a movie titled "Fearless Fagan". It's the somewhat fictionalized version of the true story of a man, Floyd C. Humeston, and his pet lion. The man and his lion are very happy together until the government intrudes by drafting Humeston. What can Humeston do with Fagan during his stretch in the Army?

There are two things that make this movie special. Number one, that's Fagan playing himself in the movie. And his social skills are such that his scenes are much different from the typical Hollywood animal movie of the 1950s (or the 1960s, or the 1970s...).

Also special is the performance by Carleton Carpenter as Floyd Humeston. He actually interacts with Fagan and really seems to enjoy him. The first time I saw this movie, since I didn't know who Carleton Carpenter was, I thought it was Humeston himself with Fagan. Carpenter is that good, and so is Fagan.

DVD cover
Click this text to see the description of the movie on the TCM site. It's on at 9:30 AM (ET), so I hope you have a recorder to catch it. It's worth catching. Update: I just found out that Warner Brothers is making the movie available on one of their manufacture-on-demand DVDs. This DVD has no region code, so even if you're outside the US, you can see the movie if you want to. Click the picture at the right to go to

Carleton Carpenter as Floyd Humeston with Fagan
(One thing not explained in the movie is Fagan's nickname, "Fearless". Fagan was so at ease around people that -- when his story hit the press -- he was not disturbed by the loud popping of 1950s-era flashbulbs. This led one photographer to dub him "Fearless Fagan".)

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