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Man Who Laughs [Import]

Mary Philbin , Conrad Veidt , Paul Leni    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECTION FROM BEGINNING TO END April 4 2004
By A Customer
Everyone has already said it better than I, so simply drop everything...and purchase this remarkable film.
And thank you, again, KINO, for allowing us the chance to behold these masterworks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visual Eloquence April 2 2004
Baes on Victor Hugo's 1869 novel, "The Man Who Laughs" is the morbid tale of Gwynplaine, an English clown doomed to a life adorned with a perpetual grin. His surgical smile was implanted on him by devilish gypsies. Gwynplaine is raised beside lovely Dea, whom we rescued as a baby. Dea is blind and can see only the beauty of his soul. As a complication, the sexy Duchess Josiana is attracted to, and repelled by Gwynplaine, all at the same time. A sensual, robust epic, "The Man Who Laughs" involves court intrigue, secret scandals, and a simple boy's enduring true love. Conrad Veidt played the lead in 1919's "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". Lured to America in 1926 by actor John Barrymore, Veidt co-starred with him in the classic "Beloved Rogue". Then Universal's Carl Laemmle tapped him for the lead in "The Man Who Laughs". Years later, in 1941, Veidt played Major Strasser in "Casablanca". Just 6 months after it's release, Conrad Veidt died of a heart attack playing golf(8th hole) in Los Angeles, Calif.. The director of "The Man Who Laughs" was also a German import. Paul Leni's production of "Cat and the Canary" installed him as Universal's reigning terror-director. In Leni's "The Man Who Laughs", light is not so important as shadow. Backgrounds unveil misty fog and swirling smoke. Paul Leni finished one more film before an infected, ulcerated tooth caused his early death from blood poisoning. Kino's exceptional DVD of "The Man Who Laughs" represents the successful American-Italian joint restoration of the 75-year-old movie. Slowed by a creaky second-half, "The Man Who Laughs" bogs down in a final melodramatic chase. But don't misunderstand. Silent horror-film fans will relish Leni's macabre art design and relentless animal passion. Just 3 years later, Universal once again photographed a tall, mysterious black-caped stranger; strolling European streets through a dark, swirling fog. This time they called it "Dracula".
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I don't have much to say other than if you are interested in or love silent films as I do just buy this now. Conrad sure is great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Feb. 3 2004
By A Customer
This has to be one of the most amazing silent films ever made! Tragically, it appeared in l928, right at the end of the silents and was quickly forgotten for generations. Thanks to a masterful restoration by Kino International, we're able today to get an idea of how this magnificent work of art must have looked in the eyes of audiences nearly 70 years ago. Conredit Vedit is astonishing as the tragically deformed Gwynplane, but matching him is a once-in-a-lifetime cast: Olga Baclanova as the nymphomaniacal siren, Mary Philbin as the glowing love interest. Camera work, lighting, decor is all astonishing. This is a movie to be cherished and viewed again and again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Unusual and Memorable Film Jan. 14 2004
Format:VHS Tape
"The Man Who Laughs" was made to capitalize on the success of "The Phantom of the Opera," made three years before. Mary Philbin, the object of the Phantom's love, stars in this film as Dea, a bind orphan who is loved by the title character played by Conrad Veidt. She would marry Veidt but he is reluctant thinking that if she knew what he looked like she would laugh at him. Although this film was made by Universal it has the feel of the films made in Germany during the silent era and is directed by Paul Leni.
The story is set in 17th century England. King James II condemns the father of the title character to the Iron Maiden and his son, Gwynplaine, is horribly disfigured by a band of gypsies so that his face has a permanent grin. Conrad Veidt plays Gwynplaine. "The Man Who Laughs" is a sympathetic character who finds happiness of a kind in a traveling show as a clown where people seeing him find they laugh uncontrollably. Little do they know that his smile is permanent! Gwynplaine is seen by a jaded Duchess (seductively played by Olga Baclanova) who takes a bizarre interest in him until the secret of his identity is revealed.
The film has the original soundtrack that includes music, sound effects and some voices. This film was made after "The Jazz Singer" so its influence is evident. Conrad Veidt is outstanding in the title role. He must literally act with his eyes and he conveys the emotions of his character with great expression. One must admire Conrad Veidt for his superb acting abilities. His silent film performances in the "Cabinet of Dr Caligari" and "Waxworks" are particularly excellent but he also turned in great performances in smaller roles, such as King Louis XI in "The Beloved Rogue.
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