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 »
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
I saw this last night at the New Orleans Film Fest and was blown away. The film has been restored and was shown with a live octet to boot. The story was complex yet easy to understand and the acting was great. I was amazed at some of the camera work and film editing for such an early period in film history. It is too bad Leni died so young because he was headed for greatness.
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