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>
In the version aired on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) on April 29, 2020, just after the Leo (the MGM Lion) shot and prior to the credits intertitle, there was an approval stamp within a toroidal circle: Approved by Kansas State Board of Review Serial Number C8806; below that was a rectangular text box: KANSAS GROWS THE BEST WHEAT IN THE WORLD See more »
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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