Behind the Make-Up (1930)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Slapstick  |   Release Date - Jan 18, 1930 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 67 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Sandra Brennan

In this convoluted drama, the jolly painted face of a circus clown is but a mask for an avaricious, ruthlessly ambitious, and deceitful man. Hap is performing in small New Orleans clubs when he saves the life of the starving Gardino, a member of a distinguished family of European clowns. Though impoverished and unemployed, Gardino is determined to avoid the family slapstick and become a "serious" performer of high-class clowning. Hap suggests they team up, but thanks to Gardino's refusal to do slapstick, their act is a dud. Gardino leaves in a huff. Later Hap finds his former partner performing Hap's proposed act with a new partner. He is doing quite well, and when he sees Hap, Gardino apologizes and they again team up. This time Gardino insists on star billing. To make matters worse, he steals Hap's girl and they marry. The honeymoon is barely over before Gardino is playing around with other women and gambling away all of their money. After his latest affair goes bust, Gardino grows despondent and so walks into the sea, never looking back.



clown, deception, love-triangle, partner, performer, suicide