Story of an inventor who, suffering betrayal in life, makes a career of it by becoming a clown whose act consists of getting slapped by all the other clowns. He falls in love with another circus performer, and those who betrayed him enter his life yet again. Written by
Robert Tonsing <email@example.com>
Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg upon viewing early rushes of this production wanted to fire the film's cinematographer, Milton Moore, as they thought the photographic exposure too low and blamed Moore for incompetence. Victor Sjöström came to Moore's defense by stating he had told Moore to shoot "low", as it was essential to the plot of the story. Moore was kept on as cinematographer See more »
During part of the scene where the lion is loose in the room, Beaumont is seen with no, or hardly any, black makeup around his right eye. Before and after this scene, both eyes are made up. See more »
Opening Dialogue Card:
In the grim comedy of life, it has been wisely said that the last laugh is the best.
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I saw this film for the first time on TCM and I have to tell you, no movie has hooked me in like this for the longest time! I furthered my appreciation for Lon Chaney, the first TRUE film actor their was in my opinion. This was the first film made by MGM and it was the best choice they could have made.
The film concerns a scientist/inventor played by Chaney whose discoveries are claimed by someone else, a baron. He is publicly humiliated but sees an oppurtunity and becomes a circus clown as a result of it. He falls in love with one of the bareback riders at the circus but, as is common with a lot of his films, the girl loves someone else. One night, the baron who ruined his life comes to the circus and he see's his opportunity for revenge. The overall theme and/or message of this movie is "he who gets the last laugh, laughs last!"
The film is marveously done from begining to end. Chaney is brilliant as always but his performance is subtle at saddening and vicious at times, you actually root for him!
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