The owner of a Waxmuseum needs for three of his models stories to be told to the audience. For that reason he has hired a writer, who after one look athe owner's pretty daughter, starts ... See full summary »
A short film depicting the execution of Mary, Queen of the Scots. Mary is brought to the execution block and made to kneel down with her neck over it. The executioner lifts his axe ready to... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
A most extraordinary movie, filmed on an absolutely staggering scale in the most extravagant yet stylish manner possible by director Paul Leni. Superbly photographed, costumed and set, this handsomely atmospheric horror piece is certainly one of a kind. In its own peculiarly dark niche, I can think of no other competitors, not even Universal's own "Hunchback of Notre Dame".
This movie has the further advantage of a far superior cast. Mary Philbin betters her portrayal in "Hunchback" by a mile, while Conrad Veidt in a Chaney-type role easily steals the picture by sheer charisma rather than simply horrific make-up. Mind you, he is given a good run for his money by Brandon Hurst as the scheming villain, Baclanova as the sexy Josiana, and Josephine Crowell (in her final feature film) as the imperious queen.
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