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The Man Who Laughs (1928)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Mystery  |  4 November 1928 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,168 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 29 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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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Dea
...
Julius Molnar ...
Gwynplaine as a child (as Julius Molnar Jr.)
...
Duchess Josiana
Brandon Hurst ...
Cesare Gravina ...
Stuart Holmes ...
Lord Dirry-Moir
Sam De Grasse ...
King James II (as Sam DeGrasse)
...
Josephine Crowell ...
Queen Anne
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:

Language:

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

Gwynplaine's fixed grin and disturbing clown-like appearance was a key inspiration for comic book talents writer Bill Finger and artists Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson in creating Batman's greatest enemy, The Joker. See more »

Goofs

The opening scene happens in James II's reign (1685-1688), but Lord Clancharlie is sentenced to death in an Iron Maiden, an instrument of torture not invented until 1793. See more »

Quotes

Ursus: [looking at the baby] Blind!
[sees Gwynplaine grinning]
Ursus: Stop laughing! Stop laughing I say!
Gwynplaine as a child: I'm not laughing!
Ursus: [looks at Gwynplaine's grin] Comprachicos!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story Behind 'The Man Who Laughs' (2003) 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

Watch it twice in a row to take it all in!
1 October 2003 | by (Oil City, PA) – See all my reviews

This was our first Conrad Veidt experience. The Man Who Laughs is a spellbinding piece of visual art. Veidt's acting is sensational. I knew the plot of the story and wondered how he would portray feelings of sadness and regret with a permanent smile carved on his face. After viewing the tape, we were amazed how the emotions exuded from the TV screen. This is our second Mary Philbin experience and both of us prefer her acting in this movie to her role in The Phantom of the Opera.

We have viewed silents on the TV screen as well as the big screen. We discovered that there is more of the "larger than life" emotions projected and felt by the audience through the larger screenings that is somewhat missed on the 27" TV screen. Not so with this performance. My wife and I were both moved to watch it from the beginning...one more time.


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