Friday, October 28, 2016

The Man Who Laughs

A rival of King Edward II is executed, his son permanently disfigured with his faced surgically reworked to always bear a smile. As an adult (played by Conrad Veidt), employed by a travelling circus, he finds a nonjudgmental partner in a blind girl (Mary Philbin) and finds his destiny again intertwined with the royals who butchered him and his family. Paul Leni's silent American treatment of the Victor Hugo novel offers Veidt (who served as an inspiration for The Joker) and along with a sea of many other memorable faces not to mention outstanding sets, cinematography, and editing.
*** 1/2 out of ****