A slightly heavy-handed, sentimental melodrama, from Griffith's years of decline when he lost full control of his projects. Its interest would be no more than historical were it not also the movie that launched WC Fields. His show-stopping performance as Eustace McGargle, conman and sideshow juggler, contains the seeds of all his later glories. Highlights are his 'find the lady' routines, and his struggles to get out of an overheating oven or to master a juggernaut Ford, the latter as it crosses a furrowed field. There's also Carol Dempster's best role in a Griffith film as the tomboy heroine; and Griffith himself clearly found some rapport with his own vaudeville childhood in the backstage circus scenes.
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