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   2,976 votes »
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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:
An underappreciated classic 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)

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)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
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:
Anachronisms: 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:
Lord Clancharlie: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.
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 »
11 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
An underappreciated classic, 12 August 1999
Author: MrETrain from Atlanta, GA USA

The first time I encountered The Man Who Laughs was a photo in a horror movie catalog that I had when I was a very easily-spooked 8-year-old. For some reason that grotesque grin frightened me more than the Hunchback, the Phantom of the Opera, and Nosferatu combined. I couldn't bear to look at it, so I carefully marked the page so that I wouldn't accidentally catch a glimpse of it. However, if I had actually seen the movie I wouldn't have been frightened at all. I wouldn't consider The Man Who Laughs a horror movie, but a touching melodrama about a man whose appearance is horrific.

Gwynplaine is a very sympathetic, likeable character, and Conrad Veidt does an excellent job of conveying his inner torment and sadness with subtle eye movements and gestures. Gwynplaine's innate goodness is very clear, despite his macabre appearance. We root for him to overcome all obstacles to find happiness and true love, as we root for the evil jester Barkilphedro to meet with a bitter end. We are not disappointed. I was impressed with the beautiful cinematography, which is exceptional for the time. The score and sound effects are used very well, so well that sometimes you forget that you are watching a silent picture. With the outstanding performances, particularly Veidt's, this is a classic of silent cinema that deserves to have a much wider audience.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (44 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Man Who Laughs (1928)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Who played Lord Clancharlie? nerettyksduredro
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
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