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  • I doubt anyone will be surprised with anything in the movie's plot. Bob Steele and dad George Hayes (teeth in, hair combed, still a bit stagey in his acting) are members of a circus. Bob loves acrobat Arletta Duncan. Hayes says no woman is worth being a fool over, confesses he's a wanted man, which is why he only appears in public in clownface, and that Bob was born in this very county. So when Bob goes the next morning to buy a horse and motherly Vane Calvert comes out and is nice, we know how that's going to turn out.

    What makes this movie so good is that it isn't a western but a circus movie, and Bob is at his most acrobatic. He mounts his horse in an engaging manner; he engages in various hi-jinks on the slack wire, the trapeze and so forth, and he fights, of course. Surprisingly, he also sings a little, a love song to Miss Duncan, and while he's not a great singer, he can carry a tune if you're not too fussy about the details. It's Bob Steele at his action best in a different way. The circus acts make up half the movie, and they are a lot of fun.

    The copy I saw was not a good one, but it was good enough that I could tell that DP Faxon Dean was a good one, even though this was his next-to-last film. Take a look at the way he moves his camera to maintain composition and focus during the circus acts. He retired to run a camera department for Jesse Lasky and a photographic-equipment-rental business for a quarter of a century.