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Behind the Make-Up (1930) DVD-R

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Starring Hal Skelly, William Powell, Fay Wray, Kay Francis, E. H. Calvert,
Paul Lukas
Directed by Robert Milton, Dorothy Arzner

Print: black/white
Runtime: 70 min.
Genre: drama
Print Quality: B

In this convoluted drama, the jolly painted face of a circus clown is but a
mask for an avaricious, ruthlessly ambitious, and deceitful man. Hap is
performing in small New Orleans clubs when he saves the life of the
starving Gardino, a member of a distinguished family of European clowns.
Though impoverished and unemployed, Gardino is determined to avoid
the family slapstick and become a "serious" performer of high-class
clowning. Hap suggests they team up, but thanks to Gardino's refusal to
do slapstick, their act is a dud. Gardino leaves in a huff. Later Hap finds
his former partner performing Hap's proposed act with a new partner. He
is doing quite well, and when he sees Hap, Gardino apologizes and they
again team up. This time Gardino insists on star billing. To make matters
worse, he steals Hap's girl and they marry. The honeymoon is barely over
before Gardino is playing around with other women and gambling away all
of their money. After his latest affair goes bust, Gardino grows
despondent and so walks into the sea, never looking back.

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