I love this great example of early Joe E. Brown. He delivers a great performance in a role that is more dramatic than most of his work. A brilliant comic, he shows his chops as a good serious actor here. Watching it, I am amazed that it's from 1929. It seems to pace much more like a 40s film noir or modern romantic comedy. And the plot is more robust than many of the earlier talkies. It keeps you entertained and doesn't bog down or plod. The scenery and props works is excellent as well. The writers do a great job of telling a compelling story and the circus atmosphere is interesting and captivating. All in all, it was a very decent movie for it's time.
It's maybe not one of Brown's funniest movies or even one of his best. But I think it's an important movie in his career and likely one that was instrumental in propelling him to stardom. I gave it a solid 7.