MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 7,138 this week

Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

 |  Biography, Drama  |  October 1957 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,700 users  
Reviews: 41 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.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 218 titles
created 13 Mar 2011
 
a list of 28 titles
created 10 Jul 2011
 
a list of 35 titles
created 18 Aug 2011
 
a list of 298 titles
created 26 Apr 2012
 
50s
a list of 42 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Man of a Thousand Faces.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Middleaged man tries to find a son that was given to an orphanage many years ago.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: James Cagney, Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Pidgeon
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: William K. Howard
Stars: James Cagney, Grace George, Marjorie Main
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A film of the life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer George M. Cohan.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston
The Big Steal (1949)
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An army lieutenant accused of robbery pursues the real thief on a frantic chase through Mexico aided by the thief's fiancee.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, William Bendix
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Starting with a violent prison break, clever, ruthless Ralph Cotter corrupts everyone around him.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: James Cagney, Barbara Payton, Helena Carter
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the 1920's Ireland, IRA members are being lead by the war mongering Dr. Sean Lenihan, as they fight oppressive British forces.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: James Cagney, Don Murray, Dana Wynter
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

With no law within 200 miles horse rancher Jeremy Rodak runs his spread with an iron hand and deals with rustlers even more ruthlessly.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: James Cagney, Don Dubbins, Stephen McNally
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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 ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Montgomery
Stars: James Cagney, Dennis Weaver, Ward Costello
Frisco Kid (1935)
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After a roustabout sailer avoids being shanghaied in 1852 San Francisco, his audacity helps him to arise to a position of power in the vice industry of the infamous Barbary Coast.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Ricardo Cortez
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A charismatic peddler from the bayous finds his true calling in politics. Is he a demagogue in the making?

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Barbara Hale, Anne Francis
White Heat (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien
Edit

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:

Who were the women who twisted his life and love...igniting the flame of his genius, driving him to immortal fame? 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

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

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

References Treasure Island (1920) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(uncredited)
Written by 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

Cagney Lifts It.
26 August 2009 | by (www.moviemoviesite.com) – See all my reviews

It's possible Jimmy Cagney couldn't resist the role of Lon Chaney here because of the opportunity it gave him to draw on his own stage and vaudeville experience to perform a couple of dance numbers. There's certainly nothing else about this film – a typical Hollywood biopic that pays only loose attention to historical fact – to explain why he accepted a part that he was clearly too old to play. Chaney was only 47 when he died, ten years younger than Cagney was when he filmed the role and was a rather gaunt figure whereas the middle-aged Cagney had a round face (although he appears to have slimmed down quite considerably for the part) and was noticeably short in stature. Despite these drawbacks, Cagney gives the best performance in the picture, and arguably his best post-Cody performance. Although Cagney was a thoughtful man he was also a dynamic character and the role calls upon him to rein in that natural dynamism to a large degree. Even though he manages this admirably, it's impossible for him to persuade us that he is the quiet man of few words that Chaney was. A passing reference is made to Chaney's quietness, but it plays no major part in the portrayal.

As with most Hollywood biopics, the writers select a couple of the more sensational aspects of their subjects life around which they then construct an overwrought melodrama that bears little resemblance to reality. Chaney's parents were both deaf and mute but I don't recall this causing a major rift between him and his first wife. There was also some concern that their child may inherit his grandparent's mute-deafness, but again I don't think it was the major crisis in Chaney and Cleva's relationship as it is here. I could be wrong, of course, but had only just completed reading a biography of Chaney's life when I happened upon this film. Cleva did destroy her singing voice when she attempted suicide – but she didn't attempt it on stage.

The film devotes most of its time to Chaney's personal life but does offer occasional glimpses into the film-making business. A few scenes that demonstrates the chaotic process of studio film-making in the very early days of Hollywood, when the absence of sound meant that several different genres of film could be shot alongside one another in an enclosed space, are quite interesting but, while we do see Cagney re-enacting a few famous Chaney scenes, the general impression is that his career is sidelined for much of the film.

Chaney died in 1931 (after making only one sound movie – a remake of his silent hit The Unholy Three). His premature death from lung cancer was the result of a lifetime of heavy smoking, but we never once see a cigarette in Cagney's hands. Even as late as the late-50s it seems that the studios were still portraying movie stars as Gods Amongst Us who could never be the instrument of their own demise. Here, Chaney develops a mysterious cough. It is never explained, but briefly described to an improbably handsome Creighton Chaney (who would metamorphose into Lon Chaney Jr.) as 'malignant' shortly before all personal and emotional problems are neatly resolved and dad can pass his famous make up box to son before ascending to the great studio in the sky.


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

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
Discuss Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?