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Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928)

Passed | | Drama | 14 April 1928 (USA)
A professional clown and a self-indulgent count learn to help each other with their problems, but then become romantic rivals.

Director:

Herbert Brenon

Writers:

David Belasco (play), Tom Cushing (play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lon Chaney ... Tito
Bernard Siegel ... Simon
Loretta Young ... Simonetta
Cissy Fitzgerald ... Giancinta (as Cissy Fitz-Gerald)
Nils Asther ... Luigi
Gwen Lee ... Lucretia
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Storyline

As professional clowns Tito and Simon are traveling, they happen upon an abandoned child, whom they take in and name Simonetta. When Simonetta is older, she becomes a circus performer herself. One day she is looking for roses, and climbs into the garden of Count Luigi Ravelli. The count becomes infatuated with her, but she leaves as soon as possible. Sometime later, Ravelli consults a doctor about his fits of uncontrollable laughter, and there he meets Tito, who has come to seek help for his fits of uncontrollable weeping. The two decide to help each other, and they establish a friendship, but problems arise when they realize that they are both in love with Simonetta. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What did he hide behind his painted smile?

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

14 April 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ríe, payaso, ríe See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$293,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Herbert Brenon reportedly loved to pick on and ridicule a 14-year-old Loretta Young in her first big role, but was civil with her whenever Lon Chaney was present on the set. Chaney noticed this and never left her side, even if his character wasn't needed for shooting that day. He directed her throughout the shoot and became her surrogate father on the project. "I shall be beholden to that sensitive, sweet man until I die," said Young of Chaney. See more »

Quotes

Tito Beppi: If all my dreams were like this - I would sleep forever.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An alternate "happier" ending was shot and was available to theaters who did not like the original. Unfortunately this no longer exists. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Devil's Rejects (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Classic Chaney Love Story!
12 November 2003 | by bsmith5552See all my reviews

"Laugh, Clown Laugh" is another masterpiece from Lon Chaney. Although I didn't like it as much as some of his other work, it is nevertheless considered as one of his best films.

Tito (Chaney) and Simon (Bernard Siegel) are traveling clowns moving from town to town in Italy. One day Tito stumbles upon an abandoned little girl and rescues her. Despite protests from his partner, he names her Simonetta (to appease Simon) and raises her as his own. The grown up Simonetta (Loretta Young) blossoms into a beautiful young lady. Tito and Simon meanwhile, have become successful and now headline the grandest theaters in the land.

One day Simonetta, while out for a walk becomes entangled in a barb wire fence. She is rescued by Count Luigi Ravelli (Nils Aster) and taken to his home. There she learns that he is a womanizer and escapes. Tito suddenly discovers that he is in love with Simonetta when she appears before him in a stylish new dress.

Three Years later, Tito and Luigi meet while being treated by a doctor (Emmett King) for emotional problems. While in the office, Simonetta meets up again with Luigi and after some reservations begin to see each other ultimately becoming engaged. Tito is devastated and becomes distraught. In his sorrow he must continue to make people laugh as the show must go on even though he is being torn apart inside. Finally Simonetta discovers that Tito is also in love with her. Now she must choose.

Chaney returned to the eternal triangle theme time and time again in his films. He usually played the rejected lover and expressed such pathos that one could hardly help but feel pity for him. This film is no exception. The scenes where he must mask his sorrow and continue to play the clown, are classic Chaney.

Loretta Young, who would go on to a successful career spanning many decades was but a sweet sixteen when this film was made. The vast difference between her age and Chaney's made Chaney's character all the more pitiful.


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