48 user 22 critic

He Who Gets Slapped (1924)

A bitter clown endeavors to rescue the young woman he loves from the lecherous count who once betrayed him.


Victor Sjöström (as Victor Seastrom)


Leonid Andreyev (adapted from the play by), Carey Wilson (adapted for the screen by) | 2 more credits »
2 wins. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Lon Chaney ... Paul Beaumont / HE
Norma Shearer ... Consuelo
John Gilbert ... Bezano
Ruth King Ruth King ... Marie Beaumont
Marc McDermott ... Baron Regnard
Ford Sterling ... Tricaud
Tully Marshall ... Count Mancini
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pierre Watkin ... spectator in audience at HE's final performance


Story of an inventor who, suffering betrayal in life, makes a career of it by becoming a clown whose act consists of getting slapped by all the other clowns. He falls in love with another circus performer, and those who betrayed him enter his life yet again. Written by Robert Tonsing <rtonsing@ti.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Victor Seastrom's production of the famous stage play by Leonid Andreyev. (Poster). See more »


Did You Know?


This was the final closing night feature at the 16th San Francisco Silent Film Festival in July, 2011. See more »


During part of the scene where the lion is loose in the room, Beaumont is seen with no, or hardly any, black makeup around his right eye. Before and after this scene, both eyes are made up. See more »


Baron Regnard: I hate clowns!
Paul Beaumont: [laughs] I hate Barons!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the version aired on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) on April 29, 2020, just after the Leo (the MGM Lion) shot and prior to the credits intertitle, there was an approval stamp within a toroidal circle: Approved by Kansas State Board of Review Serial Number C8806; below that was a rectangular text box: KANSAS GROWS THE BEST WHEAT IN THE WORLD See more »


Remake of Tot, kto poluchaet poshchechiny (1916) See more »

User Reviews

Slap Unhappy
3 December 2006 | by amosduncan_2000See all my reviews

I saw this film first on Public Television (the score that is still used, I believe, was developed when the film was restored in Chicago) and have always loved it in all it's raging perversity. It is beyond ironic that one of the major studios was launched on a film who's premise was that the public is a malevolent, cruel ass. We are never allowed to forget that as horrible as the villain is; the drooling, jeering, sadistic vermin in the circus crowd are worse.

The spookiness of the direction, I think, is what hooked me. All the leads are excellent and perfectly cast. This is the ultimate in melodrama, and it's drawn is such broad strokes that it's hard to imagine as a talkie.

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None | English

Release Date:

22 December 1924 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

He Who Gets Slapped See more »


Box Office


$172,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(original) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:



Black and White | Color (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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