Chad Hanna is descriptive of early 19th century Americana through the eyes of a roving wagon circus through upper New York state. It’s from Walter D. Edmonds’ Saturday Evening Post serial, R; Editor Wheels Rolling.
Chad Hanna (Henry Fonda) is a semi-illiterate stable boy along the Erie canal in the Mohawk valley region. Enamoured of the gaudily-dressed circus rider (Dorothy Lamour), he joins the small one-ringer as a roustabout; and finds Linda Darnell along as a runaway from a whip-wielding father. Chad marries Darnell, who has taken spot of chief equestrienne with the show, and in a brief reunion with Lamour realizes he is really in love with his wife.
Mixed in between in liberal sprinklings are the vicissitudes of the circus in wading through financial, opposition and other battles, including the death of the main attraction, a man-eating lion.
Both script and direction handle the yarn in leisurely and rather uneventful tempo.