IMDb > Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928)
Laugh, Clown, Laugh
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

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

Photos (See all 22 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.7/10   1,356 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Laugh, Clown, Laugh on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 April 1928 (USA) See more »
What did he hide behind his painted smile?
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:
A powerful performance by the man known as "the man of a thousand faces." See more (43 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:
Julie DeValora ... Nurse (uncredited)
Helena Dime ... Lady at Luigi's Party (uncredited)
Leo Feodoroff ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Frankie Genardi ... Little Boy at Tito's Death (uncredited)
Lilliana Genardi ... Little Girl at Tito's Death (uncredited)
Betsy Ann Hisle ... Little Girl at Tito's Death (uncredited)
Emmett King ... Doctor (uncredited)
Mickey McBan ... Oldest Boy at Tito's Death (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?

Herbert Brenon reportedly loved to pick on and ridicule a 14-year-old Loretta Young in her first big role, but was civil with her whenever Lon Chaney was present on the set. Chaney noticed this and never left her side, even if his character wasn't needed for shooting that day. He directed her throughout the shoot and became her surrogate father on the project. "I shall be beholden to that sensitive, sweet man until I die," said Young of Chaney.See more »
Title Card:[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 »
Movie Connections:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
A powerful performance by the man known as "the man of a thousand faces.", 27 June 2007
Author: Spent Bullets from Chinatown, California

A one man special effects unit, Lon Chaney was known as The Man of a Thousand Faces and more than lived up to his nickname. Of course, he is best known for his work The Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but his career was loaded with impressive performances of all kinds. Laugh, Clown, Laugh certainly showcases one of the many he did.

Herbert Brenon, known as a despotic director, directs the film. It's a bittersweet romantic melodrama, a film with a similar theme that Chaney did in 1924's He Who Gets Slapped. The fifteen-year-old Loretta Young (only 14 at the time of shooting) is 45-year-old Lon Chaney's leading lady. Young started in showbiz at the age of four as an extra, but this was her first major role. The film proved to be popular; MGM had it shot with an alternative happy ending to its sad ending and let the individual movie houses decide which version they wanted. No surviving copy of the happy ending seems to have survived. It's taken from a 1923 play by David Belasco and Tom Cushing based on the Italian play Ridi Pagliacci by Gausto Martino, Elizabeth Meehan is the screenwriter. The play had a successful run in New York with Lionel Barrymore in the Chaney role. It was shot on location in Elysian Park, a suburb of Los Angeles by the legendary cinematographer James Wong Howe.

The film is simply about Tito (Lon Chaney) a clown in a traveling circus, a performer who once drew in massive crowds with his skills. When he was younger, he found himself in a most unusual situation, however. He and his friend Simon discover an abandoned young girl, who has no chance of survival on her own. Out of kindness, the two take her in and she is raised on the road with the two performers. As time passes and the years roll on, the girl blossoms into a beautiful young woman, known as Simonetta (Loretta Young). Tito's prime has passed, which has him in a depressed state at the outset. He and the self-indulgent Count Luigi Ravelli (Nils Asther) learn to help each other with their problems, but become romantic rivals when Simonetta falls for the rich count. Tito then falls into a spiral of sadness, due his mixed emotions.

Probably the first thing you'll notice about Laugh, Clown, Laugh is how little attempted dialogue there is. The title card is used infrequently. The vast majority of this movie is told in near pantomime: gestures, facial expressions, and stage direction. It is also eloquently plotted, so we understand the situations and dramatics instantly and inherently.

Without Chaney though, this film just would not work. It would seem forced or flashy, almost hyperactive in some ways. Chaney is the anchor, the solid center whose pure motives move quickly over to the mixed when he realizes the emotional bond between Simonette and himself is growing more "physical." Without the seriousness, the emotional concrete that Chaney provides to tie the movie to a core concept, the flighty nature of Loretta Young or the overacting of Simon and Count Lavelli would forever damage the narrative. Chaney is the epitome of a clown laughing on the outside as he is dying on the inside, and Laugh, Clown, Laugh is a classic film.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (43 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Little Simoneta Trilby06
Question about Tito's last trick FranLovesBetteD
Loretta Young's Age j-pudwill
'...I am Flik.' Ecrevain
Arne Anderson makes a very unfair comment mikestreeter
Because..I am Flik Doug-169
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Titanic The Return of Peter Grimm Our Modern Maidens They Call It Sin Finding Neverland
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.