The Man Who Laughs
The Man Who Laughs (1928)

A sumptuous adaptaion of the Victor Hugo novel in which a man (Conrad Veidt) sentenced as a boy to unspeakable disfigurement (his face carved into a permanent, horrifying smile) returns to claim his noble birthright. German expressionist… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 30, 2003
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
TIME Magazine

The Man Who Laughs is a truly great, a devastatingly beautiful film.

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Mordaunt Hall
New York Times

This production has been fashioned with considerable skill. It is, of course, a gruesome tale in which the horror is possibly moderated but none the less disturbing.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

Truly amazing.

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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader

As usual in Hugo, love is measured in sacrifice, yielding a sincere and extravagant sense of romance.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

One of the final treasures of German silent Expressionism.

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Jake Euker

Poised between the great German horror that preceded it and the great Universal horror that followed, it is, for genre fans, an inviting and necessary stop.

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Time Out

Baclanova is amusing as a decadent duchess, but it's Leni's pictorial genius -- aided here by what must have been an enormous budget -- that marks the film as one of the most exhilarating of late silent cinema.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Veidt gives one of cinema's most sensitive and moving performances.

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David Sanjek

The Man Who Laughs demonstrates that, however much we gained with sound, we lost opportunities that arise when storytelling prioritizes vision.

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More reviews for The Man Who Laughs

Flixster Audience Score: 87% Flixster User Reviews
Chris Weber
Based on a novel by Victor Hugo, this is the story of Gwynplaine- a nobleman's son who, when he was a child, was kidnapped by a political rival, and… More
Cassandra Maples
In 1690, in England, the nobleman Lord Clancharlie returns from his exile to see his young son. The peer is captured by the cruel King James II and before being… More
Aj V
A great classic movie, I really liked it, it's beautiful. I can tell that many films have been inspired by this story, and it's great to finally see… More
Stella Dallas
the original silent film based on victor hugo's novel that inspired sardonicus and of course the joker from batman. conrad veidt in the lead role is much… More
Morgan Salem
spectacular movie!! Its not so much a horror movie as it is a romance. I ador Conrad Veidt and Mary Philbin. They are both great!!
Luke Baldock
Despite that garish poster that makes this look like a horror, this is actually a romance. It's a sweet piece of silent cinema that uses it's visuals… More