Forever disfigured by a wide and mirthless grin on his face, the orphaned son of a nobleman, Gwynplaine, rescues the blind baby-girl, Dea, in cold seventeenth-century England. Taken in by the paternal carnival philosopher, Ursus, the unloved boy grows into a kind and honest man who chooses, however, to hide his grotesque deformity behind a black cloak, utterly convinced that the beautiful Dea will never truly love him because of his horrible secret. Feeling unworthy of Dea's noble feelings, Gwynplaine will soon cross paths with the aristocratic temptress, Duchess Josiana, as a cruel and long-standing conspiracy in the palace of Queen Anne presents him with the burden of choice. Will poor Gwynplaine, the Man who Laughs, renounce everything in the name of love?Written by
This was our first Conrad Veidt experience. The Man Who Laughs is a spellbinding piece of visual art. Veidt's acting is sensational. I knew the plot of the story and wondered how he would portray feelings of sadness and regret with a permanent smile carved on his face. After viewing the tape, we were amazed how the emotions exuded from the TV screen. This is our second Mary Philbin experience and both of us prefer her acting in this movie to her role in The Phantom of the Opera.
We have viewed silents on the TV screen as well as the big screen. We discovered that there is more of the "larger than life" emotions projected and felt by the audience through the larger screenings that is somewhat missed on the 27" TV screen. Not so with this performance. My wife and I were both moved to watch it from the beginning...one more time.
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