"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
French scientist Paul Beaumont (Lon Chaney) has been working for years to prove his theories on the origin of mankind with little success until the wealthy Baron Regnard (Marc MacDermott) becomes his benefactor. But when Beaumont goes before the Academy of Science to present his discoveries, Regnard takes all the credit and claims that Beaumont was merely his assistant. When Beaumont pleads his case, Regnard slaps him and the audience of scientists roars with laughter. Beaumont seeks consolation from his wife Marie (Ruth King), only to be crushed when she reveals that she's leaving him for Regnard, with whom she's been having an affair. She calls him a clown and slaps him, then laughs hysterically.
Years pass and the shattered Beaumont has become a circus clown known as "HE--Who Gets Slapped," playing a character whose act consists of being repeatedly slapped by other clowns. One night, Regnard attends the circus and becomes infatuated with the bareback rider Consuelo (Norma Shearer). The daredevil rider Bezano (John Gilbert) is in love with Consuelo, but her impoverished father, Count Mancini (Tully Marshall), makes a deal with Regnard to marry her. Beaumont locks Regnard and Mancini inside a room and sics a lion on them. They're both killed, but Beaumont is mortally wounded after being stabbed by Mancini. Beaumont staggers out to the circus and performs his act, then dies in the ring as the crowd bursts into laughter and applause.