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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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Complete credited cast:
Giancinta (as Cissy Fitz-Gerald)


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) »


What did he hide behind his painted smile?




Passed | See all certifications »



Release Date:

14 April 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ríe, payaso, ríe  »


Box Office


$293,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The play opened in New York City, New York, USA on 28 November 1923, and had 133 performances. The cast included Lionel Barrymore as Tito Beppi, Ian Keith as Luigi Ravelli and Irene Fenwick as Simonetta. The play itself was based on "Ridi, Pagliaccio" by Fausto Maria Martini. See more »


Tito Beppi: Why should I... spoil her youth... with my tears?
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Even Though Your Heart Is Breaking
21 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

A clown afflicted with terrible melancholy and an Italian Count plagued by uncontrollable laughter seek solace with the girl they both love.

LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH is a silent showcase for the dramatic skills of Lon Chaney. No phantoms or monsters here; no belfries, dungeons or secret laboratories. What you do have is a rather simple story set against a circus backdrop, the milieu which was so dear to Chaney's heart. Here is a clown tormented; even though consumed with love for his young protégée, he cannot put his feelings into words. No need--his marvelously expressive face, even when hidden by greasepaint, poignantly portrays every emotion. Chaney once again displays his talent as one of the supreme actors of the American Silent Film.

Nils Asther enters the movie playing a rich cad, but his character is allowed to grow into rather more than that. Deftly underplaying his role he provides a nice counterpart to Chaney. Beautiful Loretta Young has little to do except look lovely and that is enough.

MGM has given the film superior production values, which was the fitting respect shown for one of their most important stars.

H. Scott Salinas has composed an excellent film score which perfectly complements the action on the screen.

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