7.8/10
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The Man Who Laughs (1928)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 4 November 1928 (USA)
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.

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(novel), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
... Dea
... Gwynplaine / Lord Clancharlie
Julius Molnar ... Gwynplaine as a child (as Julius Molnar Jr.)
... Duchess Josiana
... Barkilphedro
Cesare Gravina ... Ursus
... Lord Dirry-Moir
... King James II (as Sam DeGrasse)
... Dr. Hardquanonne
... Queen Anne
Károly Huszár ... Innkeeper (as Charles Puffy)
Zimbo the Dog ... Homo the Wolf (as Zimbo)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Delmo Fritz ... Sword Swallower
Deno Fritz ... Sword Swallower
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Storyline

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 <helenel@sco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 November 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nevető ember  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gwynplaine's grotesque grin was achieved with prosthesis. Conrad Veidt was fitted with a set of dentures that had metal hooks to pull back the corners of his mouth. He couldn't speak when the dentures were in. The only scene in which he did not wear the prosthesis is the scene where he is ravished by the Duchess Josiana. See more »

Goofs

After swimming in the river, Homo, the wolf, is dry when he immediately attacks Barkilphedro. He is dry when pulled back into the boat after his second crossing of the river. See more »

Quotes

King James II: The proud rebel who refused to kiss our hand returns to kiss the iron lady!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jonathan Creek: The Letters of Septimus Noone (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

When Love Comes Stealing
(uncredited)
Written by Walter Hirsch, Lew Pollack and Erno Rapee
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

New York
19 November 1998 | by See all my reviews

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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