Lon Chaney’s performance transcends a cliched plot about unrequited love in this 1928 melodrama (one of Chaney’s biggest hits) directed by Herbert Brenon and shot by master cinematographer James Wong Howe. A gifted clown on his way to the top (Chaney) adopts an abandoned little girl; as she grows into a gamine (13-year-old Loretta Young), he struggles with new feelings of ardor for her. Sadly, the fourth reel of the film has been lost; happily, the emotional impact of Chaney’s art has survived.