Fun Size Review: Polly of the Circus (1917)

Mae Marsh’s career post-1916 is often dismissed as unworthy of study but Polly of the Circus proves this notion to be wrong. A tight little circus melodrama, Polly also delivers some surprisingly deep questions about faith, religious hypocrisy, love and loyalty.

This picture was designed around Marsh’s strengths and her talent for playing vulnerable young women. She does a beautiful job with the part, striking just the right balance between naive and worldly. This is a must-see for her fans.

How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.

Hypocrites are exposed and Polly gets her man.

Read my full-length review here (I also cover the defanged Marion Davies/Clark Gable remake).

If it were a dessert it would be: Caramel Apples. Old school in the best possible way.

Availability: Released on DVD by Grapevine.


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  1. Mitch Farish

    I’ll have to check this one out. I really loved HOODOO ANN. Marsh was better in that than she was in any Griffith movie I’ve seen. She was very natural, and like Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide said, “she oozed charm,” or words to that effect.

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