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Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928)

Passed | | Drama | 14 April 1928 (USA)
A professional clown and a self-indulgent count learn to help each other with their problems, but then become romantic rivals.

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Writers:

(play), (play) | 2 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Bernard Siegel ...
...
Cissy Fitzgerald ...
Giancinta (as Cissy Fitz-Gerald)
...
Luigi
...
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Storyline

As professional clowns Tito and Simon are traveling, they happen upon an abandoned child, whom they take in and name Simonetta. When Simonetta is older, she becomes a circus performer herself. One day she is looking for roses, and climbs into the garden of Count Luigi Ravelli. The count becomes infatuated with her, but she leaves as soon as possible. Sometime later, Ravelli consults a doctor about his fits of uncontrollable laughter, and there he meets Tito, who has come to seek help for his fits of uncontrollable weeping. The two decide to help each other, and they establish a friendship, but problems arise when they realize that they are both in love with Simonetta. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

clown | rose | laughter | garden | doctor | See All (24) »

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What did he hide behind his painted smile?

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

14 April 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ríe, payaso, ríe  »

Box Office

Budget:

$293,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song "Laugh Clown Laugh", with music by Ted Fio Rito and lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young, did much to make this movie a hit when it rose to #1 on the 1928 hit parade. See more »

Quotes

Luigi: That barbed wire was not intended for your pretty little legs.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Airs de France: Paillasse (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Great Films
26 July 2004 | by (Some Where, Some Day) – See all my reviews

Not only is this the greatest performance I've seen by Chaney, it is one of the great films.

In this, Chaney definitively proves he is one of the greatest actors, perhaps the greatest, in all of film. Although he appears in different make-ups in almost every scene, the make-up is to portray himself as a younger man who slowly grows older as the 25-year span of the film tells the well-known tragic love story more familiarly known as "Pagliacci," the clown who could not laugh.

The film co-stars a radiant 14-year-old Loretta Young, who Chaney supposedly guided to another great performance. Without the director, who was unduly harsh on her, knowing it. When Chaney found out, he made sure he was always with Young whenever the director was. Young's mistreatment ended.

Several times I was near tears because Chaney's performance--watch his eyes, hands and demeanor--is so naturalistic, even though somewhat melodramatic, as all silent performances were.

Almost all of Chaney's films were about unrequieted love, but here he may have reached his apotheosis. I won't know until I see a few more of his non "horror" films, especially, "He Who Gets Slapped."

Don't let what I've said make you think this is some clunky "tear-jerker," It is filled with good laughs, drama, wonder and real pathos. Chaney's final scene is utterly tragic and beautiful.

Even non-Chaney fans will be awed by "Laugh, Clown, Laugh."


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