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Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  October 1957 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,659 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 28 critic

The life and career of vaudevillian and silent screen horror star Lon Chaney, his contentious relationship with his neurotic wife, and his premature death.

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Title: Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Hazel Bennet Chaney
Marjorie Rambeau ...
Gert
...
Clarence Locan
...
Irving Thalberg (as Robert J. Evans)
...
Mrs. Chaney
Jeanne Cagney ...
Carrie Chaney
...
Dr. J. Wilson Shields
...
Robert Lyden ...
Rickie Sorensen ...
Dennis Rush ...
Nolan Leary ...
Pa Chaney
Simon Scott ...
Carl Hastings
Edit

Storyline

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 <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the true story of the fabulous Lon Chaney! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

October 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann mit den 1000 Gesichtern  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film starring James Cagney as Lon Chaney shows Chaney making a scene in The Miracle Man (1919). That film was based on a novel by Frank L. Packard and its stage adaptation by George M. Cohan, who acted in it himself (not in the same part as Chaney, though). And in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Cagney had played Cohan. See more »

Goofs

Lon Chaney did not die at home surrounded by loved ones, he died very suddenly in the hospital (around midnight) after suffering a hemorrhage. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Guard: Good morning, Mr. Thalberg.
Irving Thalberg: Good morning.
See more »

Connections

References The Road to Mandalay (1926) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(uncredited)
Written by James Lord Pierpont (1857)
integrated into soundtrack when Chaney family reunites at Christmas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cagney against type! I love it!
24 February 1999 | by (West Palm Beach, Florida) – See all my reviews

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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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Lon Chaney Sr. deserves a new/better bio-pic! gillmanfan2000
make-up montage? wencer
Will the copyright holders please listen to the fans of Chaney + Cagney john-kelly-3
Cagney good.. movie dreadful beverlyamason
credits pla725
Lon Chaney, Jr. casting-:) albawhall
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