Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Fifteen-year-old Loretta Young is 45-year-old Lon Chaney's winsome leading lady in Laugh, Clown, Laugh. Based on the war-horse stage piece by David Belasco and Tom Cushing, the film casts Chaney as (what else?) an aging circus clown, who adopts an orphaned girl and falls in love with her when she grows up. Alas-and not surprisingly-the girl loves another, prompting Chaney to perform a suicidal circus stunt, freeing her to marry the man she truly cares about (Nils Asther). Chaney had been here before, having played a similar role opposite Norma Shearer in 1924's He Who Gets Slapped. Though widely touted as Loretta Young's film debut, she had actually made earlier appearances with her sisters as a child extra. A silent film, Laugh Clown Laugh was released with a musical sound track, which highlighted the hit title song.
circus-performer, clown, love-triangle, orphan, sacrifice