Loose biography of actor Lon Chaney. Growing up with deaf parents, he learns what it is like to be different. As an actor, he puts that knowledge (together with lots of make-up and talent) ... See full summary »
Loose biography of actor Lon Chaney. Growing up with deaf parents, he learns what it is like to be different. As an actor, he puts that knowledge (together with lots of make-up and talent) to use playing a variety of strange, unusual characters, adopting their characteristics so thoroughly as to be called the Man of a Thousand Faces. Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
As with most biographical films, the script is a combination of fact and screenwriters' fancy. To give but two examples, Lon Chaney Jr. was not born in a hospital, but at his parents' then-home in Oklahoma City, as was common at the time. Further, Cleva Creighton Chaney was well aware, before her marriage to Lon Chaney, that his parents were hearing-impaired, and had already met them on several occasions. See more »
During Phantom Of The Opera re-creation, position of actress who faints and falls to floor after unmasking Lon Chaney's character shifts from shot to shot. See more »
Other reviewers have knocked the film because it is not historically accurate and I can't dispute that. But for me, James Cagney's performance makes this a film that is a must-see. True, the film is short on depicting Lon Chaney's film characters and although we do get to see Cagney in makeup as the Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, the scenes are extremely brief. Most of the film depicts Chaney's conflict with his first wife, wonderfully played by the stunning Dorothy Malone - whew, what a knockout!- and the stormy relationship with his son.
The film is a soap opera but Cagney is wonderful showing that he can play drama, comedy and even dance and mime.
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