This is the story of an orphaned youth, played by Power, who is determined to make it even though he has nothing. Working in a cheap road show, he charms his colleagues, seduces someone who can teach him a special trick, and puts together an act that will bring him into the big time. But he is haunted by the geek, an alcoholic who is hired to bite the heads off of chickens and lizards. There is another alcoholic, the companion of the woman teaching him, who also concerns him. FOr a long time, his career works, allowing him to enter the top tier of New York society. He married a beautiful girl from the carny, who performs perfectly as his assistant and they are deeply in love. Of course, things don't work out.
This is so good that it is like a psychological drama. In a way, I hesitate to call it a film noir, but that is the category it is in. I warmly recommend this film. It is of superior quality.