7.3/10
1,884
42 user 29 critic

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.

Director:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A corrupt D.A. with governatorial ambitions is annoyed by an investigative reporter's criticism of his criminal activities and decides to frame the reporter for manslaughter in order to silence him.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The triumph and tragedy of Native American Jim Thorpe, who, after winning both the pentathlon and decathlon in the same Olympics, is stripped of his medals on a technicality.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Charles Bickford, Steve Cochran
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Newspaper man wanders about and helps older woman save her paper.

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: James Cagney, Grace George, Marjorie Main
'G' Men (1935)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Ann Dvorak
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When spy chief Bob Sharkey finds out one of his agents-in-training is actually a Nazi double agent, his strategic decision not to arrest him results in tragedy.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: James Cagney, Annabella, Richard Conte
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Inspired by Churcill's Dunkirk speech, brash, undisciplined bush pilot Brian MacLean and three friends enlist in the RCAF but are deemed too old to be fliers.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Dennis Morgan, Brenda Marshall
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Although loudmouthed braggart Jerry Plunkett alienates his comrades and officers, Father Duffy, the regimental chaplain, has faith that he'll prove himself in the end.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, George Brent
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A hypnotherapist uses a temperamental teenager as guinea pig for a serum which transforms him into a vicious werewolf.

Director: Gene Fowler Jr.
Stars: Michael Landon, Yvonne Lime, Whit Bissell
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A semi-documentary dramatization of five weeks in the life of Vice Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr., from his assignment to command the U.S. naval operations in the South Pacific to the Allied victory at Guadalcanal.

Director: Robert Montgomery
Stars: James Cagney, Dennis Weaver, Ward Costello
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Jake MacIllaney will do just about anything to win the presidential election of longshoreman union Local 26. When he encounters young upright attorney Dan Cabot and Cabot's attractive wife,... See full summary »

Director: Charles Lederer
Stars: James Cagney, Shirley Jones, Roger Smith
Certificate: GP Drama | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A family of fiercely independent Oregon loggers struggle to keep the family business alive amidst changing times.

Director: Paul Newman
Stars: Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Lee Remick
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Quick-tempered yet likable Biff Grimes falls for the beautiful Virginia Brush, but he is not the only young man in the neighborhood who is smitten with her.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth
Edit

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
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:

Only Two Women Knew The Secret Behind Lon Chaney, The Fabulous Man Of A Thousand Faces! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

On a trip to Hawaii, James Cagney met Roger Smith stationed there in the Naval Reserve, impressed with his clean-cut good looks and appeal, he encouraged Smith to pursue an acting career. Following the advice and after success in several films, Smith reconnected with Cagney who hired him to play his son, "Lon Jr." in Man of a Thousand Faces (1957). Cagney later cast him as his co-star in the musical comedy-drama Never Steal Anything Small (1959). See more »

Goofs

The scene of Creighton leaving home to take care of his natural mother is completely false. Around that time, not only was Creighton married, but was the father of 2 children and was working for his father-in-law. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in A Tribute to the Westmores (2010) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?