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Showing posts from January, 2011

The Man Who Laughs

The Man Who Laughs (1928) Starring Conrad Veidt, Directed by Paul Leni
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0019130/
My rating: 10/10

I had the pleasure of viewing this film over the weekend. It is a later silent film and as such the cinematography was much better than a lot of silents that I’ve seen.

The story focuses on the life of Gwynplaine, the son of a rebel nobleman in 17th Century England who was disfigured as a child by the evil jester Barkilphedro, “whose laughs are cruel and smiles false.” Gwynplaine’s face is contorted into a permanent horrible, wide grin. I don’t want to focus on the plot. That is available elsewhere, and I believe I’ve already said enough.

This film is simply incredible, filled with many wonderfully shot scenes. It is considered a horror film, but the horror is much more subtle. Gwynplaine’s pain is conveyed through his ever smiling face throughout the film so intensely that you can’t help but feel it yourself. He is crying and he is smiling. When he is suffe…