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The Man Who Laughs (1928)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,114 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 30 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
...
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:

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 clowns wear modern "clown" make-up in Queen Anne's reign (1702-1714). This appearance was not developed until the mid 1800s. Jo Grimaldi was the first clown to wear this style. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Jonathan Creek: The Letters of Septimus Noone (2014) 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

New York
19 November 1998 | by (Huntington, NY) – See all my reviews

This silent horror gem doesn't get many viewings. Conrad Viedt, in his best film role plays an unfortunate memeber of royality whose mouth is carved in a horrific grin. He winds up in a circus sideshow, where gawkers marvel at his eternal grin. However, Viedt does such a wonderful performance here, especially with the fact he has the limitation of expressing inner anquish with eye movements. After the sideshow episode, he falls in love with a blind girl, (Mary Philbin, recently menaced by "The Phantom Of The Opera") who can't see his grostesque mouth. Paul Leni, who died of blood poisioning in 1931, keeps the pace of the film active. The late Bob Kane, creator of "Batman" claims Viedt's character was the inspiration for The Joker.


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