A bitter clown endeavors to rescue the young woman he loves from the lecherous count who once betrayed him.


(as Victor Seastrom)


(adapted from the play by), (adapted for the screen by) | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »
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Cast overview:
Ruth King ...
Marie Beaumont
Baron Regnard
Count Mancini


Story of an inventor who, suffering betrayal in life, makes a career of it by becoming a clown whose act consists of getting slapped by all the other clowns. He falls in love with another circus performer, and those who betrayed him enter his life yet again. Written by Robert Tonsing <rtonsing@ti.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Victor Seastrom's production of the famous stage play by Leonid Andreyev. (Poster).





Release Date:

22 December 1924 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Akit arcul csaptak  »

Box Office


$172,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(original release) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:


| (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The actual onscreen title is "HE Who Gets Slapped," with the "HE" capitalized, so as to emphasize that HE is a proper name, not a pronoun. See more »


During part of the scene where the lion is loose in the room, Beaumont is seen with no, or hardly any, black makeup around his right eye. Before and after this scene, both eyes are made up. See more »


Paul Beaumont: [to the ferocious lion] Come, my friend - give me the last slap!
See more »


Referenced in Good Boys (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Chaney and cast deliver in the first MGM film
20 February 2004 | by (Cherry Hill, New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Bravo to Turner Classic Movies for making available, once again, the cinematic art of one of the best actors ever, Lon Chaney. As Andreyev's disappointed scientist turned circus clown, Paul Beaumont, Chaney makes the most of every scene he's in, and never disappoints. We feel the agony of his hopeless love for the lovely bareback rider Consuelo, as well as the seething anger toward the man who ruined his life, the despicable Baron Renard. It's a far better performance, in my opinion, than his similar role four years later in "Laugh, Clown, Laugh," much more understated and, therefore, much more involving.

But that's not to take away from the other performances, by any means. Norma Shearer, in her first major role as Consuelo, is suitably attractive and gives a good performance, but to see her at her best is to see such '30's classics as "A Free Soul" and especially "Marie Antoinette." There, she was a mature actress; here, she was a promising newcomer. John Gilbert already shows that he had the goods to become one of the top leading men of the '20's, managing to convey virility even in multicolored tights. And Marc McDermott and old veteran Tully Marshall make two of the best silent villains ever as the aforementioned Baron and as Consuelo's father, an impoverished nobleman ready to force his daughter into marrying the Baron just to improve his fortunes, respectively. You're genuinely glad, at an almost visceral level, when they wind up getting what they deserve in the end.

I don't know who composed the music score used in the print seen on TCM, but it's excellent and really compliments the action.

Victor Seastrom's moody direction is perfect, especially his use of a globe-spinning clown to serve as sort of a Greek chorus at various points in the film.

In short, this is a true silent classic, silent film making at its' best, and well worth seeing.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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