A producer decides to reopen a theater, that had been closed five years previously when one of the actors was murdered during a performance, by staging a production of the same play with ... See full summary »
Gwynplaine, son of Lord Clancharlie, has a permanent smile carved on his face by the King, in revenge for Gwynplaine's father's treachery. Gwynplaine is adopted by a travelling showman and becomes a popular idol. He falls in love with the blind Dea. The king dies, and his evil jester tries to destroy or corrupt Gwynplaine.Written by
Helen Elsom <email@example.com>
Gwynplaine's fixed grin and disturbing clown-like appearance was a key inspiration for comic book talents writer Bill Finger and artists Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson in creating Batman's greatest enemy, The Joker. See more »
When Josiana wakes up and embraces Gwynplaine, she puts both her arms around his neck. In the next shot, only her right arm is around his neck and she uses her left to prop herself up. See more »
God closed my eyes so I could see only the real Gwynplaine.
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This silent horror gem doesn't get many viewings. Conrad Viedt, in his best film role plays an unfortunate memeber of royality whose mouth is carved in a horrific grin. He winds up in a circus sideshow, where gawkers marvel at his eternal grin. However, Viedt does such a wonderful performance here, especially with the fact he has the limitation of expressing inner anquish with eye movements. After the sideshow episode, he falls in love with a blind girl, (Mary Philbin, recently menaced by "The Phantom Of The Opera") who can't see his grostesque mouth. Paul Leni, who died of blood poisioning in 1931, keeps the pace of the film active. The late Bob Kane, creator of "Batman" claims Viedt's character was the inspiration for The Joker.
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