Alas, this famous Eddie Polo serial exists only in a severely cut-down version that was beginning to decompose when Blackhawk Films got their hands on it some time in the 1970s. As a result the eighteen reels are cut down to less than an hour and a sizable chunk of that is spent telling the history of the film and introducing the characters and the story this far.
So is it worth seeing? Well, that depends in no small part on your taste in movies. For me, however, a lot of fun is offered by authentic circus scenes -- two real circuses were used, the Sells-Floto and the more famous Barnum & Bailey. I don't have the expertise to tell which is which, but the first shot offered in the excerpt edition shows some great acts under the big top -- more than three decades before Cecil Demille recorded the circus for the "first" time in THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.
That makes it a very good picture. What of the story? Well, it follows the usual series of exciting escapades -- Eddie Polo serials had a reputation for that. He had started as a circus acrobat and spent a lot of time performing unlikely stunts like parachuting off the Eiffel Tower. I had a great time watching the excerpts. I hope you do too.
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