IMDb > The Man Who Laughs (1928)
The Man Who Laughs
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The Man Who Laughs (1928) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   2,938 votes »
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Down 43% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Victor Hugo (novel)
J. Grubb Alexander (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Man Who Laughs on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 November 1928 (USA) See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Magnificent Classic of Victor Hugo's Novel See more (44 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Mary Philbin ... Dea

Conrad Veidt ... Gwynplaine / Lord Clancharlie
Julius Molnar ... Gwynplaine as a child (as Julius Molnar Jr.)

Olga Baclanova ... Duchess Josiana
Brandon Hurst ... Barkilphedro
Cesare Gravina ... Ursus
Stuart Holmes ... Lord Dirry-Moir
Sam De Grasse ... King James II (as Sam DeGrasse)
George Siegmann ... Dr. Hardquanonne
Josephine Crowell ... Queen Anne
Charles Puffy ... Innkeeper
Zimbo the Dog ... Homo the Wolf (as Zimbo)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Deno Fritz ... Sword Swallower
Henry A. Barrows ... (uncredited)
Richard Bartlett ... (uncredited)
Les Bates ... (uncredited)
Charles Brinley ... (uncredited)
Allan Cavan ... (uncredited)
D'Arcy Corrigan ... (uncredited)
Carmen Costello ... Dea's Mother (uncredited)
Carrie Daumery ... Lady-in-Waiting (uncredited)
Howard Davies ... (uncredited)
Nick De Ruiz ... Wapentake (uncredited)
Louise Emmons ... Gypsey Hag (uncredited)
J.C. Fowler ... (uncredited)
John George ... Dwarf (uncredited)
Jack A. Goodrich ... Clown (uncredited)
Charles Hancock ... (uncredited)
Lila LaPon ... Featured (uncredited)
Torben Meyer ... The Spy (uncredited)
Joe Murphy ... Hardquanones messenger (uncredited)
Edgar Norton ... Lord High Chancellor (uncredited)
Broderick O'Farrell ... (uncredited)
Lon Poff ... (uncredited)
Frank Puglia ... Clown (uncredited)
Henry Roquemore ... (uncredited)
Templar Saxe ... (uncredited)
Allan Sears ... (uncredited)
Scott Seaton ... (uncredited)
Louis Stern ... (uncredited)
Al Stewart ... (uncredited)
Anton Vaverka ... (uncredited)
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Directed by
Paul Leni 
 
Writing credits
Victor Hugo (novel "L'Homme Qui Rit")

J. Grubb Alexander (adaptation)

J. Grubb Alexander (continuity)

Walter Anthony (titles)

May McLean  uncredited
Marion Ward  uncredited
Charles E. Whittaker  uncredited

Produced by
Carl Laemmle .... producer
 
Original Music by
William Axt (uncredited)
Sam Perry (uncredited)
Erno Rapee (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Gilbert Warrenton (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Edward L. Cahn  (as Edward Cahn)
 
Art Direction by
Charles D. Hall 
Thomas F. O'Neill  (as Thomas O'Neil)
Joseph C. Wright  (as Joseph Wright)
 
Costume Design by
David Cox  (as Dave Cox)
Vera West 
 
Makeup Department
Jack P. Pierce .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Paul Kohner .... production supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Maurice Pivar .... supervising film editor
 
Music Department
Joseph Cherniavsky .... musical director (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Walter Anthony .... titles
Charles D. Hall .... technical director
Carl Laemmle .... presenter
Lew Landers .... production staff member (as Louis Friedlander)
Jay Marchant .... production staff member
R.H. Newlands .... technical researcher (as Prof. R.H. Newlands)
Thomas F. O'Neill .... technical director (as Thomas O'Neil)
Bela Sekely .... story supervisor (as Dr. Bela Sekely)
John M. Voshell .... production staff member
Joseph C. Wright .... technical director (as Joseph Wright)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
110 min
Country:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (musical score and sound effects) | Silent
Certification:

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:
Anachronisms: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
When Love Comes StealingSee more »

FAQ

How did this American movie from 1928 get away with showing female nudity?
Is Gwynplaine based on the Joker?
See more »
14 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Magnificent Classic of Victor Hugo's Novel, 24 September 2006
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In 1690, in England, the nobleman Lord Clancharlie returns from his exile to see his young son. The peer is captured by the cruel King James II and before being killed, he is informed that his beloved son had been sold to the gypsies Comanchicos that carved a permanent grin on his face. The Cormanchicos abandon the boy in the cold snowing winter, and while looking for shelter, he finds a baby hold in the arms of her dead mother. He brings the baby with him and they are welcomed by the philosopher Ursus (Cesare Gravina), who finds that the baby is blind and raises them. Years later, Gwynplaine (Conrad Veidt) becomes a successful clown, and together with the blind Dea (Mary Philbin), they present plays for common people. Gwynplaine and Dea are in love for each other, but he refuses to marry her because of his ridiculous appearance. When the evil jester Barkilphedro (Brandon Hurst) discloses the origin of Gwynplaine, he plots a means to be rewarded by the Queen, jeopardizing the love of Gwynplaine and Dea.

The Man Who Laughs" is a magnificent classic based on the famous Victor Hugo's novel. The performances of Conrad Veidt and Brandon Hurst are amazing and there are many touching and heartbreaking scenes. My eyes became wet when the artists act like the audience cheering for Gwynplaine to spare Dea from the truth. The appearance of the character Gwynplaine inspired Bob Kane in the creation of "The Joker", one of Batman's greatest enemies. Another point that I would like to highlight is the resemblance of Madonna, in the beginning of her career, with the Russian actress Olga Baclanova, who performs daring scenes including of nude with her amoral character of Duchess Josiana. I have never read Victor Hugo's novel, but it seems that the conclusion in the original story is less optimistic than in this movie, but anyway I loved this film. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "O Homem Que Ri" ("The Man Who Laughs")

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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Saddest Movie Ever? rocker623
Who played the two 'Iron Lady' executioners? yelknirb67
Mary Philbin . . . curlew-2
What if Paul Leni had lived? bheck1
The Duchess Looked like a Young Madonna HOHNancy
Mr. Sardonicus? Godfrey2
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