Lon Chaney stars as Tito, an aging circus clown, who spends his life on the road, entertaining the masses with laughter. One fateful day he discovers an abandoned young girl on a river bed who he subsequently adopts. Years go by and the young girl, Simonette, grows into a beautiful young woman, with Tito falling in love with her in the process. Unfortunately for Tito, Simonette loves another man, leading Tito to perform a tragic act of love. Herbert Brenon's Laugh Clown Laugh is a deeply affecting character drama that has all the emotional weight of a greek tragedy. Lon Chaney is superb as Tito Beppi, capturing the violent transitions of emotion he lives with on a daily basis. Seeing this man go from one of the saddest human characters ever committed on celluloid to one of the most joyous, in mere seconds, is devastating to watch, and Chaney pulls it off masterfully. Probably my favorite aspect of Laugh Clown Laugh is how it portrays Tito's life as a performer. Th masses celebrate this man as a comedic performer and throughout the films running time we see how he is a servant to those masses. Laugh Clown Laugh captures how ones persona to the public can, and often is, very different than the true individuals soul. Laugh Clown Laugh is an emotionally exhausting journey through the life of a deeply depressed individual that should not be missed.
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