The Man Who Laughs (1928) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe) CD1.avi
The Man Who Laughs (1928) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe) CD2.avi
The Man Who Laughs (1928).rtf
The Man Who Laughs (1928)
A lord refuses to kiss the hand of King James II, so is doubly punished: he perishes in the "Iron Lady" [onscreen in a memorably handled sequence] while his son is sent to a surgeon who [offscreen] carves a grin on his face "so he can forever laugh at his father". Sheltered by a kindly playwright ["like Shakespeare, only much better!"], the boy grows up to join his troupe of itinerant players as the star attraction: "The Man Who Laughs". His fortunes lead him to a blind girl, an ambitious duchess, and Queen Anne, who reinstates him to the nobility, but with further complications.
An excellent example of the earliest horrors!
Mary Philbin ... Dea
Conrad Veidt ... Gwynplaine
Julius Molnar Jr. ... Gwynplaine as a child
Olga Baclanova ... Duchess Josiana
Brandon Hurst ... Barkilphedro
Cesare Gravina ... Ursus
Stuart Holmes ... Lord Dirry-Moir
Sam De Grasse ... King James II
George Siegmann ... Dr. Hardquanonne
Josephine Crowell ... Queen Anne
Charles Puffy ... Innkeeper
Zimbo the Dog ... Homo the Wolf (as Zimbo)
The Man Who Laughs" is a magnificent classic based on the famous Victor Hugo's novel. The performances of Conrad Veidt and Brandon Hurst are amazing and there are many touching and heartbreaking scenes. My eyes became wet when the artists act like the audience cheering for Gwynplaine to spare Dea from the truth. The appearance of the character Gwynplaine inspired Bob Kane in the creation of "The Joker", one of Batman's greatest enemies. Another point that I would like to highlight is the resemblance of Madonna, in the beginning of her career, with the Russian actress Olga Baclanova, who performs daring scenes including of nude with her amoral character of Duchess Josiana. I have never read Victor Hugo's novel, but it seems that the conclusion in the original story is less optimistic than in this movie, but anyway I loved this film. My vote is ten.
Conrad Veidt, in a career stretching from CALIGARI to CASABLANCA, always found the emotional authenticity in bizarre roles. Here, in the familiar 19th century figure of the suffering clown, his performance is transfixing: whether tremulous as the girl's hand explores his face, or mortified by the laughter of the House of Lords, Veidt's face makes the role more than a simple martyr: he is man struggling with unjust destiny ["A king made me a clown, a queen made me a lord, but first God made me a man!"].
Big-hearted and unashamedly dramatic, this is clearly the work of Victor Hugo, rags to riches in scope, offering consolation in love. The spirit of the French Revolution is very much in the air in this world of cruel privilege and class antagonism, full of secret doors, dungeons, and volatile mobs. While not as richly populated as Les Miserables and Hunchback, this adaptation still has spectacular set-pieces and elaborate settings.
Considerably less revolutionary is the conventional portrayal of women: virgin and vamp are the only alternatives. The former is the blind girl played by Mary Philbin [who had earlier unmasked Lon Chaney's Phantom]. With blond ringlets arranged to make her face heart-shaped, she edges close to simpering yet rises to genuinely moving moments. The vamp is Olga Baclanova [who became the blonde tormentor in Tod Browning's FREAKS], here writhing around in a black negligee and looking startlingly like Madonna.
Today, the films of Paul Leni are hard to track down, but worth the effort. Starting as an art director, Leni developed his visual command in Berlin; this Germanic style stands out in some beautifully designed compositions, such as a dynamic night sequence: a ship, full of gypsies being deported, heaves through a furious snowstorm. Yet Leni always works at the heart of the human values in the story, sustaining intense moments for all his actors. While some scenes are staged in darkness to rival a film noir, Leni also floods Veidt and Philbin with light, often focusing on one nuance per shot, an old-fashioned but effective strategy.
Filmed on the cusp of the sound revolution, this semi-silent has added sound effects and rather vague non-stop music but no spoken dialogue.
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.
I always think that Paul Leni's "The Man Who Laughs" was another silent horror piece with a lot of good ideas and thrilling scenes. Well... i was not wrong, except in the "horror" thing, and I lack to think of the beauty that could give me. Actually, "The Man Who Laughs" is one of the best silent films (With "Broken Blossoms" and "Metropolis") that i have ever seen ever. As too one of the most beautiful films that i have ever seen too.
"The Man Who Laughs", based on Victor Hugo's novel, told us the story of Gwynplaine (Great performance of Conrad Veidt, who too appeared as Cesare in famous "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari", participate in the first gay themed film in history "Diffrent from the Others" and "Casabalanca") a man that, when he was little, was operated by an evil man and now, his face always have a long smile. When he was little, he finds a death mother with a newly born one, a beautiful girl, but she is blind. Then he finds help, home and food with Ursus. Years later, he grown up, as the lovely girl, now a beautiful woman named Dea. With Ursus (Now, he is old) go with a fair. For their side there is the evil Barkilpehdro, who was the responsible of our dear main character's sad circumstances. This evil character do it for one thing, power... Gwynplaine doesn't know that he could be a powerful man. Now, back with Gwynplaine, we find a big saddest by him, he don't want to be a clown. And Dea is the only person who see the real Gwynplane. Then we find the story of a beautiful but evil and rebel duchess (Perfomed perfectly by Olga Baclanova, who appeared too in "Freaks"),she has as pupil: the evil Barkilphedro. So, what do you think that happen if all this characters find them in a fair? Just watch it out, and be prepared, because is a thrilling experience.
In my personal opinion, "The Man Who Laughs" is an important piece of the history of cinema, maybe , of their time too. First of all, the love story is so tender, so beautiful... that i don't think yet that exist such movie!!! Then, the stages, all the scenario is perfect, makes us to feel what it wants. Is here too another personal opinion, i think that "The Man Who Laughs" it was early to their time, Paul Leni (Director of "The Cat and the Cannary" and "Waxworks"). Its just that the movie present topics that in that time was very difficult to show, or was too (talkin about film technique) novel, or in other word: new. For example, there is a scene when a man watch through the bolt of a door to the duchess taking a bath, yes it doesn't show her nude, but certainly, what they show it was much for this time, i think. In film technique i can give a lot of examples, for example, mix of sounds in a lot of scenes, camera moves... etc... i can put a lot of examples. In few words, "The Man Who Laughs" is a real masterpiece, a real must see. This is a beautiful film, and i loved it. Try to see it if you have not see it yet. If you love excellent films, if you love silent films, if you love beautiful films, if you love thrilling films, if you love touching films... you must see "The Man Who Laughs"
# Lon Chaney was originally cast as Gwynplaine, but at the last minute, he withdrew.
# Gwynplaine's fixed grin and disturbing clown-like appearance was a key inspiration for comic book talents 'Bob Kane (I)' and Jerry Robinson in creating Batman's greatest enemy, The Joker.
# 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. The only scene in which he did not wear the prosthesis is the scene where he is ravished by the Duchess Josiana.