Hitchcock's eye for editing and framing is already evident early in his career. Here he lifts motifs from German Expressionism for a story with similarities to Lang's M. This one is a good example of why silent films should be viewed at the correct speed. The suspense conjured with lighting and acting would be lost in the frantic, cranked up style given to many of these masters after the silent era was over.
What do you call a backstage drama that takes place at the circus? Many films have been made with this premise, and this may have been the first, but there's not much to recommend here. It's an early Marian Nixon star turn with boilerplate jealousies, rivalries, crimes, love affairs. Some convincing angry mob scenes and raging, hot elephant action, but everything else is overacted - except the elephant. I think he was really angry.