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Robert Z. Leonard
When Polly Fisher, a circus aerialist, is hurt while performing, she is taken to the house of a nearby minister, John Hartley. As she recuperates, they fall in love with each other and secretly marry. But when the truth leaks out , John's congregation rebels at having a circus woman as their minister's wife, and he is fired. Polly decides to leave John in hopes of giving back to him the calling that means so much to him. But fate steps in and rearranges all plans. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After a bad fall from the trapeze, POLLY OF THE CIRCUS recuperates in the home of a handsome young clergyman.
Marion Davies uses her considerable talent to enliven this piece of inconsequential fluff, making it an enjoyable time waster. As the mistress of one of the country's most powerful men, she could have easily demanded a solemn spectacle to spotlight her skills. But her ego did not run in that direction and, as always, she's a delight to watch--even though the film itself (which she also produced) is exceedingly silly.
MGM&'s newest young leading man, Clark Gable, is quietly effective as the rector who wins Davies' heart. Cast somewhat against type, he gives an earnest portrayal of a man devoted to God above almost anything else. The macho mannerisms which later became such a dominate part of his screen roles are largely missing here. And it’s obvious that he never forgets that he's the co-star -- Marion Davies is the one who gets to shine.
Wonderful old Sir C. Aubrey Smith lends his grave dignity to the role of Gable's uncle, the bishop. Elderly Raymond Hatton steals a couple of scenes as the rectory's self-righteous, alcoholic servant. David Landau is effective as the goodhearted circus manager. Comic actress Maude Eburne appears all too briefly as Davies’ Irish nurse--but the viewer is treated to Davies' impersonation of her.
Movie mavens will recognize an unbilled Ray Milland as a church usher.
Although obviously using actual trapeze artists as stunt doubles, the aerial sequences under the circus big top are still nerve-wracking to watch.
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