Although innocent, reporter Frank Ross is found guilty of murder and is sent to jail. While his friends at the newspaper try to find out who framed him, Frank gets hardened by prison life ... See full summary »
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Happened upon this on AMC one morning when home sick with a cold. Cagney immediately hooked me. It was interesting seeing such a powerful actor, who usually portrays physically powerful and often violent characters, in scenes of gentleness and sensitivity. Cagney apologizing; Cagney saying he was afraid; Cagney tenderly holding a child; Cagney dressed as a clown; as a woman. These are not the roles or behavior one expects when tuning in one of his movies. In the same way, physical violence was not a primary plot device in the movie; a refreshing change. To me Jim Baccus has always been Mr. McGoo. It was nice to see him throughout the movie in a good supporting role. I get the feeling his work as McGoo prevented him from getting solid roles. He appears as though he had more to offer. Does anyone else see a resemblance between Dorothy Malone in this movie and Sharon Stone today? I thought even her voice sounded like Stone's once or twice (or rather, Stone's sounds like Malone!). Malone did a good job, but I think Greer was even better. Greer's performance here makes me want to see more of her. All the important supporting roles are well played. Occasionally the film editing and/or writing jumps too quickly across too many years, but it is still able to be followed. I think the film succeeds because it made the "thousand faces" the backdrop to the life of the man and the difficulties he faced. The characters are real and you care about them. Today, Hollywood would probably do it the other way around, making the make-up the story and giving short-shrift to the people. This picture gives the viewer a marvelous bonus. We watch to learn about Chaney, and end up, underneath it all, getting Cagney, too!
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