7.3/10
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Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

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

WHAT WAS THE SECRET BEHIND THE MAN BEHIND THE THOUSAND FACES? (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

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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

James Cagney had previously acted alongside Lon Chaney's son Lon Chaney Jr in A Lion Is In The Streets (1953). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Fine, sentimental favorite
27 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Saw this on the late show when I was 12 or 13: I was moved, even scared, by scenes with Miracle Man, Christmas dinner, Quasimodo, & especially with the legless man in the alley ("Pick me up & knock me down again!") We know now that LC, Sr., was less than pleasant to be around & that LC, Jr., grew up to be miserable. But this was an early introduction to what I'd heard of as "vaudeville," & the transitional sequences with Cagney as a film lot extra (with a real silent flick star Marjorie Rambeau, as Gert) were fast-paced & convincing. It was a fair cultural shock to see Jim Backus (as agent Locan) in a dramatic role, since until then I'd seen him only on sitcoms & as Mister Magoo.

I have it on tape & watch it maybe once a year & have seen Cagney & co-stars in other vehicles since then: especially Jane Greer in her unsavory "Out of the Past" role. Dorothy Malone (whom I knew only from "Peyton Place") was a great, underrated actress.

Yes, the ending is slow & shmaltzy, & it was hard to imagine even back then (I'd already seen scary LC, Jr., in the teleplay, The Ballad of Jubal Pickett) that Jr. was ever as handsome as Roger Smith. But if nothing else you can get a fictional behind-the-scenes account of the making of two great silents & cultural icons: Phantom of the Opera & Hunchback of Notre Dame.


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