Silent Revue: THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1928)

Runtime: 110 mins | Release Year: 1928 | Rating: NR | Genre(s): Drama, Romance
Production Country: USA | Original Language: No Language

‣ Sunday October 27th @ 04:00 PM

A Hollywood-produced German Expressionist masterpiece, THE MAN WHO LAUGHS is the film that inspired Batman’s infamous archenemy the Joker. Directed by German émigré Paul Leni, it’s “one of the final treasures of the German silent Expressionism” (Roger Ebert), and features an iconic, visually astounding performance from Conrad Veidt—best known for his role as Cesare in THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI.


Adapted from Victor Hugo’s notorious novel set in seventeenth-century England, Leni’s late era masterpiece tells of Gwynplaine, the tragic son of a nobleman who is disfigured after his father insults a despotic king. Hidden within the safety of a travelling circus, Gwynplaine and his protectors’ fates are endangered after his identity is discovered and he’s sent back to court, amidst a ravenous and cruel aristocracy set out to abuse him.


With stunning production design by Charles D. Hall, who would channel this film’s visuals into future Universal horrors like FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA, and with groundbreaking make-up effects by Jack P. Pierce, THE MAN WHO LAUGHS is a Halloween must.


Live accompaniment by Marilyn Lerner


Silent Revue is curated by Alicia Fletcher


Silent Revue is sponsored by Hollywood Suite


Part of the Silent Revue series!

Cast/Crew Info
Paul Leni | Cast: Mary Philbin, Conrad Veidt, Julius Molnar, Olga Baclanova, Brandon Hurst