As professional clowns Tito and Simon are traveling, they happen upon an abandoned child, whom they take in and name Simonetta. When Simonetta is older, she becomes a circus performer herself. One day she is looking for roses, and climbs into the garden of Count Luigi Ravelli. The count becomes infatuated with her, but she leaves as soon as possible. Sometime later, Ravelli consults a doctor about his fits of uncontrollable laughter, and there he meets Tito, who has come to seek help for his fits of uncontrollable weeping. The two decide to help each other, and they establish a friendship, but problems arise when they realize that they are both in love with Simonetta. Written by
This is such a sad movie; after watching the great "Phantom of the Opera" I became more open to Chaney's movie. This is such a sad heart-wrenching film. Chaney is at his best in this film giving a bittersweet performance becoming both entertaining and tragic. These are characters we can care about and that's what made this movie effective. The fact that Chaney is in love with a younger woman and knows he can never have her is possibly the biggest aspect that tugs on your heart as you watch. The ending is possibly the most heartwrenching. I won't give it away, though. You have to see it for yourself.
*** and a half (out of 4 stars)
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