The Way of All Flesh

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Bank clerk August Schiller (Emil Jannings in his American screen debut) is known as a model husband and father. His idyllic life abruptly changes when he is sent from Milwaukee to Chicago to deliver a packet of bonds; it is first time on a solo trip since he married his wife years before. There he meets a seductive young woman who plies him with liquor and steals the bonds. Later, she calls in her beau to beat up August. During the scuffle, the thug is killed. Wanting to protect his family from scandal, August dons the crook's clothing and disappears. Meanwhile the papers announce his courage in death. Over the years, his life goes into a rapid decline until the penniless August is forced to live on the streets. One day, he learns that his son has become an internationally famous violinist. Poor August is barely able to beg people into giving him enough money to buy a ticket. The story ends on a windy Christmas morning with the decrepit and sorrowful August staring wistfully through a window pane at his happy warm family's celebration.


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