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 »
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, he was under contract to another studio at the time and could not have been cast in the film in the first place. See more »
When Dea reaches through the curtain searching for Gwynplaine, she puts her left hand through the gap but it is her right hand that comes out the other side. See more »
I came back to find my little son. What have you done with him?
King James II:
By our grace he is still alive, and quite well, I believe. A Comprachico surgeon carved a grin upon his face so he might laugh forever at his fool of a father.
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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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