Saturday, November 07, 2015

The Man Who Laughs (1928)

The Man Who Laughs is a 1928 silent horror/melodrama. This is a tragic story in the classic sense of that word. It's directed by Paul Leni, who died at age 44 just a year after this film's release. It stars Conrad Veidt, who died of a heart attack at age 50. Oh, to think of what might have been if these men had lived longer!

Mary Philbin also stars. She died of pneumonia in 1993 at age 90. Her last film appearance had been in 1929, just a year after The Man Who Laughs. She never married, and after her retirement lived as a virtual recluse in her father's home. She stayed there even after her father, step-mother and mother had died. Rediscovered in the 1960s she made a few public appearances until she retired permanently, suffering from Alzheimer's.

via Youtube:

Moria gives it 4 out of 5 stars. DVD Talk calls it "an excellent example of the artistic silent cinema that was wiped out by the coming of sound" and says, "Direction, design and acting are superb. Conrad Veidt's performance is the equal of Lon Chaney and the film as a whole much more satisfying than Universal's earlier Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera."

It's on Roger Ebert's Great Movies list. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a critics score of 100%.


  1. I apologize for being so late visiting, but I haven't been on the computer at all today. I even missed your post from yesterday, apparently, too. I am off to watch this movie, especially if Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 100% score. Thanks for digging it up and reviewing it.