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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 <email@example.com>
"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. MGM did not credit Zillboorg for his theatrical adaptation. 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 »
Opening Dialogue Card:
In the grim comedy of life, it has been wisely said that the last laugh is the best.
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I can't find the words to say how brilliant this movie is.
80 years is a loooooong time. I can't believe MGM's really been around that long. But when it came to making this picture, they were off to a great start. Getting Lon Chaney from Universal was a very wise choice (it'd be hard to see someone else in the part he played), the supporting cast which included Norma Shearer (future Best Actress Oscar winner), John Gilbert (future star of "The Big Parade" (1925) and "Queen Christina" (1933)), as well as notable character actors Tully Marshall and Ford Sterling, it is nothing short of splendid. Lon Chaney's deep, gripping facial expressions, especially in his scenes with rival Baron Regnard (played by Marc McDermott) are the most expressive I've ever seen on film. TCM aired a print with a synchronized music & effects track (which sounds as if it was recorded maybe in the 1960's or 1970's) on Oct. 30th, 2003, and I was so enthralled with how it looked that I taped it and now have it in my collection. If you ever happen to come accross this movie, watch it! You will not be dissapointed. Because MGM means great movies, doesn't it?
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