Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. Denmark, 1926. Nordisk Film. Screenplay by Poul Knudsen, A.W. Sandberg. Cinematography by Christen Jørgensen. Music by Walter Schrøder. Production Design by Carlo Jacobsen, Poul Kanneworff.
A family of travelling circus performers includes a married couple and their daughter Daisy, accompanied wherever they go by Joe, a young man they took in from a young age who performs as the troupe’s clown. Joe and Daisy have been madly in love since their youth, which they make official when a benefactor who catches their show decides to promote young Joe in the more respectable milieu of theatre and turns him into the toast of Europe. This also means Joe can marry Daisy while watching as his fame and wealth grow; things go well for the entire clan until Daisy falls in love with an oily couturier and leaves Joe, prompting his slow descent into alcoholism and the tragedies that accompany that sad reality. Recently restored and showcasing some gorgeous tinting used for day and nighttime scenes, the film’s familiar plot is boosted by the genuine pathos it exhibits for all its characters, especially as provided by Gosta Eckman in the lead role. Some sequences are particularly dazzling, including the views of the main character’s stage performances, and the mirror-smashing scene in which he discovers his wife’s infidelity.