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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There is no comprehensive cast list in this movie. Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer and John Gilbert are credited on the title frame; only 4 others are credited with character names in intertitles right before they first appear in the movie. The IMDb cast list credits these 7 actors in order of their names appearing onscreen. 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 first on Public Television (the score that is still used, I believe, was developed when the film was restored in Chicago) and have always loved it in all it's raging perversity. It is beyond ironic that one of the major studios was launched on a film who's premise was that the public is a malevolent, cruel ass. We are never allowed to forget that as horrible as the villain is; the drooling, jeering, sadistic vermin in the circus crowd are worse.
The spookiness of the direction, I think, is what hooked me. All the leads are excellent and perfectly cast. This is the ultimate in melodrama, and it's drawn is such broad strokes that it's hard to imagine as a talkie.
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