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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 <email@example.com>
This picture distinguishes itself from the all-too-familiar reverential and sentimental quasi-biographies of show business legends by emphasizing the complex relationship between Lon Chaney and his first wife, Cleva Creighton, and by treating their problems in an even-handed manner. She emerges as flawed and difficult to deal with - but so does he. Their child is caught in the middle.
The story would be of interest even if it did not concern a famous person. Chaney's career provides a colorful background to an essentially human drama, one which may present its characters too often as one-dimensional prototypes lacking depth or subtlety, but is nevertheless a drama which (except for the maudlin deathbed scene) effectively develops the genuine emotional conflicts at its core. In a solid cast, Dorothy Malone, as Cleva, is most notable.
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