Fool's Revenge (1916)

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Though set in "the present" (1916), Fox's A Fool's Revenge is little more than Rigoletto in mufti. William H. Tooker plays a circus clown who murders his wife upon finding out that she's been unfaithful with a man named Randall. Managing to avoid arrest, the clown devotes his life to the care and maintenance of his virginal daughter Ethel -- and to hunting down Randall for purposes of revenge. Discovering that Randall is the house guest of a bon vivant named Mendell, the clown secures a job as Mendel's manservant, biding his time until he can get even with his bitter enemy. Knowing that Mendell has designs on Mrs. Randall, the clown fiendishly agrees to help abduct Mrs. R so that Mendell can "have his way" with her. But a mix-up occurs, and the clown delivers his own daughter Ethel into Mendell's clutches. Upon realizing that his thirst for revenge has brought about his own daughter's downfall, the clown goes completely looney, and the final shot shows him writhing on the floor in agony (a scene that would probably evoke laughter if seen today).