The Man Who Laughs

1928

Drama / Horror / Mystery / Romance / Thriller

103
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 4,919

Synopsis


Downloaded 12,726 times
November 2, 2019

Director

Cast

Conrad Veidt as Gwynplaine / Lord Clancharlie
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1007.23 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
110 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.75 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
110 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by BaronBl00d 10 / 10 / 10

Pure Classic

A young boy is terribly disfigured by roving gypsies by the order of King James II of England as a punishment to one of his disobeying nobles. The gypsies carve a permanent smile in the young boy's face and then leave him for dead as they leave for their homeland. The young boy wanders aimlessly for shelter amidst the cold coastline filled with snow, ruins, and swinging bodies from the hangman's noose in the background. Here he finds an infant..alive..clutched in the frozen hands of a woman whose husband was hanged. This was the beginning of The Man Who Laughs...and it was so powerfully filmed that a race of emotions filled me as I watched awe-struck, yet horrified. Paul Leni directed this great film based on the novel by Victor Hugo. Conrad Veidt plays the grown Gwynplaine who travels around the English countryside with his adopted parent Ursus the Philosopher and the young Dea, the girl whose life he saved as a baby. Dea has turned into a blooming young woman, yet blind from her birth. Dea is played very nicely by Mary Philbin, who played in The Phantom of the Opera(1925) in the female lead. The way Leni has the characters interact is very effective. We can feel the tension in Veidt's character as he submits to the growing pains of love. We feel his sorrow as he cries through smiles. The rest of the film involves a royal plot by the queen and her henchman/jester(by the way, Brandon Hurst does a phenomenal job as this cruel heartless jester) to reinstate some royal property to Gwynplaine so he can be married to a duchess that the queen does not like. The story is pretty good and one can see where it is going early on, but the way Leni creates suspense and pathos overpowers any negative defects. The acting all around is very strong. This is a powerful film on many levels. It is an emotional rollercoaster ride through love, hate, despair, joy, and much more. I laughed; I cried. The best part though was that the film has a marvelous message about perceptions. Here we have this character Gwynplaine that smiles outwardly and makes people laugh, but he is full of despair. He cries on the inside. People should not always be taken at face value. By the way, Bob Kane, the creator of Batman, credits this film and the character of Gywnplaine for his creation of the Joker. I can see how. Watch this and the silent version of The Bat in the same evening and you will see what stirred a young Bob Kane's imagination.

Reviewed by gftbiloxi 10 / 10 / 10

Grotesque, Macabre, and Influential Silent Classic

Like most artistic "isms," expressionism is somewhat difficult to define; in general, however, it refers to a style in which the artist is much less interested in capturing external realities than in portraying emotional and psychological states; consequently, expressionism is often fantastic in a visual sense--and when it combined with the darker edges of Germanic folklore it gave rise to a series of classic and near-classic silent films, including THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, NOSFERATU, THE GOLEM, and WAXWORKS. Over time, the style began to creep into American film. This was most particularly true of films made at Universal Studios, which had major successes with such Gothic-inflected films as THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, both of which starred Lon Chaney. Drawn from a minor work by Victor Hugo, THE MAN WHO LAUGHS was first intended as a Chaney vehicle; by the time it began production, however, Chaney had decamped to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer--and Universal assigned Conrad Veidt to the starring role under director Paul Leni. Both men had been deeply involved in the German expressionist movement, and the resulting film was a melodrama so deeply steeped in the grotesque that it came to be regarded as a horror film. THE MAN WHO LAUGHS concerns a child named Gwynplaine who is caught up in royal intrigue and is deliberately disfigured, his mouth cut into a ghastly, inflexible grin. Abandoned, he rescues an blind infant girl; both are taken in by the kindly Ursus (Cesare Gravina.) Years later, and entirely unaware of his aristocratic origin, Gwynplaine (Veidt) and the beautiful blind maiden Dea (Mary Philbin) are popular carnival actors, appearing in a play written by Ursus--but although he loves Dea, Gwynplaine is deeply humiliated by his eternal grin and feels he can never marry. Ironically, it is not until he is once more caught up in a royal powerplay and recognized as a peer that he realizes the depth of Dea's love. In some ways the plot is simplistic and occasionally too much so, but the look of the thing is relentlessly fascinating. Director Leni endows his world with grotesque faces, vulgar sexuality, and deliberately twisted visuals--particularly so in the first half of the film, which is greatly famous for the sequence in which the abandoned child stumbles through a snow storm beneath gallows bearing rotting corpses to find the infant Dea. Veidt's hideous grin, an early creation by make up genius Jack Pierce, is remarkably effective; the performances are memorable, and although the second half of the film is excessively predictable the whole thing goes off with a bang. Although it was hardly a failure, in 1928 THE MAN WHO LAUGHS proved too gruesome for many audiences, and the rise of sound films drove it into a too-rapid obscurity. Even so, it would cast a very long shadow: it is an important link in the chain between German expressionism and the great Hollywood horror classics of the early 1930s. The Kino DVD presents a reasonable but far from flawless transfer of the film, along with several bonus features, most significantly a "making of" documentary that details the film's stylistic importance. Recommended for fans of classic horror. GFT, Amazon Reviewer

Reviewed by Chaves7777 10 / 10 / 10

Lovely... a must see!!!

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" *Sorry for the mistakes, well... if there any.

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