7.3/10
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46 user 30 critic

Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

The life and career of vaudevillian and silent screen horror star Lon Chaney, including his contentious relationship with his neurotic wife and his premature death.

Director:

Joseph Pevney
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Lon Chaney
Dorothy Malone ... Cleva Creighton Chaney
Jane Greer ... Hazel Bennet Chaney
Marjorie Rambeau ... Gert
Jim Backus ... Clarence Locan
Robert Evans ... Irving Thalberg (as Robert J. Evans)
Celia Lovsky ... Mrs. Chaney
Jeanne Cagney ... Carrie Chaney
Jack Albertson ... Dr. J. Wilson Shields
Roger Smith ... Creighton Chaney at 21
Robert Lyden Robert Lyden ... Creighton Chaney at 13
Rickie Sorensen Rickie Sorensen ... Creighton Chaney at 8
Dennis Rush Dennis Rush ... Creighton Chaney at 4
Nolan Leary ... Pa Chaney
Simon Scott Simon Scott ... Carl Hastings
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Storyline

Loose biography of actor Lon Chaney. Growing up with deaf parents, he learns what it is like to be different. As an actor, he puts that knowledge (together with lots of make-up and talent) to use playing a variety of strange, unusual characters, adopting their characteristics so thoroughly as to be called the Man of a Thousand Faces. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Only Two Women Knew The Secret Behind Lon Chaney, The Fabulous Man Of A Thousand Faces! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

19 November 1957 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Mann mit den 1000 Gesichtern See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film starring James Cagney as Lon Chaney shows Chaney making a scene in The Miracle Man (1919). That film was based on a novel by Frank L. Packard and its stage adaptation by George M. Cohan, who acted in it himself (not in the same part as Chaney, though). And in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Cagney had played Cohan. See more »

Goofs

Lon Chaney was very much against Creighton entering into the film business. He most certainly did not present Creighton with his makeup case on his death bed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Guard: Good morning, Mr. Thalberg.
Irving Thalberg: Good morning.
See more »

Connections

References The Trap (1922) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont (as James Lord Pierpont) (1857)
integrated into soundtrack when Chaney family reunites at Christmas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One Face Cagney Shouldn't Have Put On
22 May 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This is the biography of famous actor Lon Chaney, portrayed by the more- famous James Cagney. Normally, I like biographies and I am a big, big fan of Cagney....but this film turned me off fairly quickly, and I wish the "Yankee Doodle" man had turned down this role.

Dorothy Malone plays an awful, selfish woman who was Chaney's first wife. She is so annoying I lost interest in this story. The scenes where Malone freaked out over Lon's parents being deaf and dumb, and her subsequent tirades, plus Chaney apologizing for his parent's physical handicaps - come on!! - totally turned me off.

It also looked strange to see Cagney in his mid '50s playing a guy in his early '20s. Give me a break! That was poor casting if I ever saw it. What a disaster this film turned out to be. I prefer to remember Mr. Cagney for his great roles in the 1930s and 1940s.....not stinkers like this.


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