7.3/10
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46 user 29 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:

Who were the women who twisted his life and love...igniting the flame of his genius, driving him to immortal fame? 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

The film opens at a memorial for Chaney at the Lon Chaney sound stage. The camera pulls in to a closeup of the plaque that designates the building. The face on the plaque is that of James Cagney not Lon Chaney. This was done because Cagney and Chaney looked nothing alike. See more »

Goofs

Lon Chaney Jr was not born in a hospital. He was born in Chaney's cabin in Oklahoma city. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) 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

James Cagney's performance is outstanding
22 April 2006 | by Stanley StrangeloveSee all my reviews

Other reviewers have knocked the film because it is not historically accurate and I can't dispute that. But for me, James Cagney's performance makes this a film that is a must-see. True, the film is short on depicting Lon Chaney's film characters and although we do get to see Cagney in makeup as the Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, the scenes are extremely brief. Most of the film depicts Chaney's conflict with his first wife, wonderfully played by the stunning Dorothy Malone - whew, what a knockout!- and the stormy relationship with his son.

The film is a soap opera but Cagney is wonderful showing that he can play drama, comedy and even dance and mime.


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