A stranger comes to work at widow Halla's farm. Halla and the stranger fall in love, but when he is revealed as Eyvind, an escaped thief forced into crime by his family's starvation, they ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"He Who Gets Slapped" was originally a Russian book by Leonid Andreyev and was translated into English and adapted for the stage by Gregory Zillboorg. It opened on Jan. 9, 1922 at the Garrick Theatre in New York and ran for 182 performances. With the exception of Consuelo (Norma Shearer's character), most of the characters in the stage production did not have names. The Lon Chaney character in the play was simply "He", and the others "a Juggler," "an Acrobat", etc. 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 »
It's somewhat strange that MGM's first film contains three people who each achieved superstardom: Lon Chaney, whose following is immense, both then and now; John Gilbert, an overlooked and maligned sex symbol who has his own band of followers, of which I am one; and Norma Shearer, an actress unfairly dismissed as the product of clever packaging and promotion by her fiance and, later, husband, Irving Thalberg.
I've always liked her, and in this film, she gives a hint of her future charisma on the screen. The story of HE WHO GETS SLAPPED is quite melodramatic and is handled with European eccentricity (director Sjostrom), but it is still head a shoulders above most of the movies made today. The circus scene when Ford Sterling rips Chaney's heart from his costume and buries it in the sand of the center ring is simply bizarre in its darkness.
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