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As the lone dissenting juror in a seemingly open-and-shut murder case, soft-spoken Hermann, a circus clown by trade, is under tremendous pressure from the other jurors to join them in finding the defendant guilty. It's a week until Christmas, and everybody wants to bring the trial to a quick end, but Hermann pleads with them to listen to a story before they decide on the man's fate. He proceeds to weave a dark tale of heartbreak and loss on the circus midway - a tale with a shocking ending that will prove that the man about to be condemned could not have pulled the trigger. Veteran circus and vaudeville performer turned comic actor, Joe E. Brown, sports a thick Dutch accent for this sympathetic portrayal of a laughing clown with a broken heart. Albert S. Rogell directs the film with a naturalistic, overlapping style of dialogue that prefigures later works by Howard Hawks and Robert Altman.

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