7.7/10
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70 user 42 critic

The Man Who Laughs (1928)

Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 4 November 1928 (USA)
Trailer
1:44 | Trailer
When a proud noble refuses to kiss the hand of the despotic King James in 1690, he is cruelly executed and his son surgically disfigured.

Director:

Paul Leni

Writers:

Victor Hugo (novel), J. Grubb Alexander (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mary Philbin ... Dea
Conrad Veidt ... Gwynplaine / Lord Clancharlie
Julius Molnar Julius Molnar ... Gwynplaine as a child (as Julius Molnar Jr.)
Olga Baclanova ... Duchess Josiana
Brandon Hurst ... Barkilphedro
Cesare Gravina Cesare Gravina ... Ursus
Stuart Holmes ... Lord Dirry-Moir
Sam De Grasse ... King James II (as Sam DeGrasse)
George Siegmann ... Dr. Hardquanonne
Josephine Crowell ... Queen Anne
Károly Huszár ... Innkeeper (as Charles Puffy)
Zimbo the Dog Zimbo the Dog ... Homo the Wolf (as Zimbo)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Delmo Fritz Delmo Fritz ... Sword Swallower
Deno Fritz Deno Fritz ... Sword Swallower
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Storyline

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 Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Man Who laughs With Conrad Veidt as the clown on whose face was carved a horrible, leering grin. (Print Ad-Picket Line Post ((Mt. Morris, NY)) 7 December 1928) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Assuming its copyright has not lapsed already, this film and all others produced in 1928 enter the U.S. public domain in 2024. See more »

Goofs

When Dea reaches through the curtain searching for Gwynplaine, she puts her left hand through the gap but it is her right hand that comes out the other side. See more »

Quotes

Gwynplaine: A woman has seen my face and yet may love me.
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Connections

Featured in The Story Behind 'The Man Who Laughs' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

When Love Comes Stealing
(uncredited)
Written by Walter Hirsch, Lew Pollack and Erno Rapee
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User Reviews

Watch it twice in a row to take it all in!
1 October 2003 | by rmartynaSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 November 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Laughs See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,347
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (musical score and sound effects)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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