IMDb > Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928)
Laugh, Clown, Laugh
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Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
14 April 1928 (USA) See more »
A professional clown and a self-indulgent count learn to help each other with their problems, but then become romantic rivals. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
An Absolute Must For So Many Reasons See more (41 total) »


  (in credits order)

Lon Chaney ... Tito
Bernard Siegel ... Simon

Loretta Young ... Simonetta
Cissy Fitzgerald ... Giancinta (as Cissy Fitz-Gerald)

Nils Asther ... Luigi

Gwen Lee ... Lucretia
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frankie Genardi
Julie DeValora ... Nurse (uncredited)
Helena Dime ... Lady at Luigi's Party (uncredited)
Leo Feodoroff ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Betsy Ann Hisle ... Little Girl at Tito's Death (uncredited)
Emmett King ... Doctor (uncredited)

Directed by
Herbert Brenon 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
David Belasco  play
Tom Cushing  play
Joseph Farnham  titles
Elizabeth Meehan  writer

Produced by
Herbert Brenon .... producer
Irving Thalberg .... producer
Original Music by
H. Scott Salinas (2002)
Cinematography by
James Wong Howe 
Film Editing by
Marie Halvey 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ray Lissner .... assistant director
Will Sheldon .... assistant director
Art Department
Cedric Gibbons .... set designer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gilbert Clark .... wardrobe
Music Department
Jack Feinberg .... set musician
Sam Feinberg .... set musician
Mark Northam .... special thanks (2002 alternate version)
Don B. Ray .... special thanks (2002 alternate version) (as Don Ray)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:73 min (22.4 fps)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Netherlands:14 (1928) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

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 »
Narrator:[First Lines] Spring comes early in the Italian hills. Peasant hearts are light - and the voice of the travelling circus is heard in the land.See more »
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
An Absolute Must For So Many Reasons, 16 January 2008
Author: kurugaal from United States

I've been a die-hard Lonaholic since the early 70's, but only managed to see this in a terrible 16MM bootleg print over 30 years ago, and then a fragmentary view when it was shown on TCM. Watching this DVD now has given me a whole new perspective on how great a silent picture can be, and on why I fell for Chaney as well.

The story, while it apparently bears the stamp post-Victorian melodrama, is also very complex and has sexual undercurrents that are surprisingly modern. It portrays emotions that are so primal, and portrays them so well, that its dated elements don't prevent it from feeling current and emotionally valid.

The acting is top notch. The deep and conflicting feelings that are a component of any of the three sides of a love triangle are brilliantly, subtly portrayed by all the principals. Fourteen year-old Loretta Young is perfectly cast as the girl who is becoming a woman, with her experiences always ahead of her understanding.

You can really see in LCL why Lon Chaney was considered the actor's actor of his day. He's superb; his Tito Beppi is an irresistible combination of simplicity and depth. At first I thought Chaney was hamming a bit, but ultimately it contributes to the impact of his portrayal of Tito's honest and profoundly compassionate character. The few seconds when Beppi realizes that his fatherly love for Simonetta--whom he has raised since she was a child--has suddenly veered into desire, ought to be taught in acting classes. That Chaney was capable of portraying so many strong, and subtle, deeply personal emotions, without a single word, goes a long way towards explaining the powerful grip his on screen charisma had on audiences of the Twenties.

James Wong Howe's photography is stunning. He was famous for having been able to get Mary Miles Minter's pale blue eyes to register on orthochromatic film; LCL shows how he brought that same testimonial to the richness of black and white to the more realistic palette of panchromatic stock.

The DVD's presentation is excellent. The new musical score really enhances the film without calling attention to itself. Its quiet urgency contributes to the sense of inevitable tragedy without ever veering into clichéd dramatics. I think this print of Laugh Clown Laugh is the only one surviving; there are some small continuity hiccups from lost footage but it doesn't detract.

Anyone who is or has been in love should see this film; it's hard not to identify with elements of the plights of all three protagonists. Put this on a double bill with City Lights and it's liable to kill you.

Regards, Richard Day Gore

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Loretta Young's Age j-pudwill
'...I am Flik.' Ecrevain
Arne Anderson makes a very unfair comment mikestreeter
Question about Tito's last trick FranLovesBetteD
Because..I am Flik Doug-169
Deleted scene? Alternate ending? QuarrellaDeVil
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