Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein
Released in both silent and sound versions, this lurid melodrama from Universal was based on the 1924 play Carnival by William R. Doyle. Mary Nolan, whose demure name hid a rather volatile personality, played Helen Herbert, a sideshow dancer falling for handsome socialite Bobby Spencer (Leon Janney). After a tête-à-tête with Spencer Sr. (George Irving), Helen, like a carnival version of Marguerite Gautier, heroically disappears from young Bobby's life by leaping to her death from a balloon. A former Ziegfeld girl, Mary Nolan kept changing her moniker (from "Bubbles" Wilson to Imogene Robertson to Mary Nolan) in order to escape a series of lurid scandals. Retiring from films in 1932, she later suffered bouts with drug addiction, managed a bungalow court in Hollywood, and died all but forgotten at the young age of 43 in 1948.
burlesque, carnival, dance [art], forbidden-love, homosexual, love, romance, socialite, star-crossed-lovers, suicide