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The Man Who Laughs (1928)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,016 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 28 critic

When a proud noble refuses to kiss the hand of the despotic King James in 1690, he is cruelly executed and his son surgically disfigured.

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(novel), (adaptation), 5 more credits »
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Title: The Man Who Laughs (1928)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Dea
...
Gwynplaine / Lord Clancharlie
Julius Molnar ...
Gwynplaine as a child (as Julius Molnar Jr.)
...
Duchess Josiana
Brandon Hurst ...
Cesare Gravina ...
Ursus
Stuart Holmes ...
Lord Dirry-Moir
Sam De Grasse ...
King James II (as Sam DeGrasse)
George Siegmann ...
Josephine Crowell ...
Charles Puffy ...
Innkeeper
Zimbo the Dog ...
Homo the Wolf (as Zimbo)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Deno Fritz ...
Sword Swallower
Edit

Storyline

Gwynplaine, son of Lord Clancharlie, has a permanent smile carved on his face by the King, in revenge for Gwynplaine's father's treachery. Gwynplaine is adopted by a travelling showman and becomes a popular idol. He falls in love with the blind Dea. The king dies, and his evil jester tries to destroy or corrupt Gwynplaine. Written by Helen Elsom <helenel@sco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

4 November 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Homem Que Ri  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System) (musical score and sound effects)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Claims that Lon Chaney was cast and/or walked off the set are incorrect. Although he was the first choice for Gwynplaine, Chaney was under contract with another studio and so could never cast to begin with. See more »

Goofs

Although a silent film allows convenient ambiguity, the story presents Gwynplaine's speech as clear enough to be understood by all other characters without impediment. Since Gwynplaine cannot close his lips, he could never form the consonants b, f, m, p and v. At least one of these sounds occurs in the vast majority of words in Gwynplaine's native tongue, English. Realistically Gwynplaine would be virtually mute, as actor Conrad Veidt was whenever wearing the Gwynplaine prosthesis. See more »

Quotes

King James II: The proud rebel who refused to kiss our hand returns to kiss the iron lady!
See more »

Connections

Version of Das grinsende Gesicht (1921) See more »

Soundtracks

When Love Comes Stealing
(uncredited)
Written by Walter Hirsch, Lew Pollack and Erno Rapee
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Wow
11 October 1999 | by (new orleans, LA) – See all my reviews

I saw this last night at the New Orleans Film Fest and was blown away. The film has been restored and was shown with a live octet to boot. The story was complex yet easy to understand and the acting was great. I was amazed at some of the camera work and film editing for such an early period in film history. It is too bad Leni died so young because he was headed for greatness.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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