This article needs additional citations for verification . (May 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Laugh, Clown, Laugh|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by|| Herbert Brenon |
Ray Lissner (assistant)
|Written by|| Joseph Farnham |
|Based on||Laugh, Clown, Laugh|
by David Belasco and Tom Cushing
by Fausto Maria Martini
|Starring|| Lon Chaney |
|Cinematography||James Wong Howe|
|Edited by||Marie Halvey|
|Distributed by|| Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer |
|Language||Silent (English intertitles)|
Laugh, Clown, Laugh is a 1928 American silent drama film starring Lon Chaney and Loretta Young. The movie was directed by Herbert Brenon and produced and released through MGM Studios.
The film is based on the 1923 Broadway stage production Laugh, Clown, Laugh, by David Belasco and Tom Cushing, based on a 1919 play Ridi, Pagliaccio by Fausto Maria Martini.
Tito (Lon Chaney), a traveling circus clown, finds an abandoned child. Tito adopts her and raises her as his daughter, naming her Simonetta after his brother Simon (Bernard Siegel). One day the now teenaged Simonetta (Loretta Young) encounters Luigi (Nils Asther), a wealthy man who falls madly in love with her, but upon seeing that he already has a girlfriend, she rejects him. She returns home to the circus and Tito suddenly realizes she is no longer a child. Tito further realizes he has feelings for Simonetta, but also knows his feelings are improper because he raised her as his daughter.
Luigi begins having fits of uncontrollable laughter because Simonetta has rejected him. Tito falls into melancholia because of his conflicted interests about Simonetta. They both see the same doctor about their conditions and meet for the first time. They share their respective troubles and believe they can help each other, not knowing they both love the same woman. Nonetheless, the three eventually develop a strong friendship until Luigi asks Simonetta to marry him. Simonetta eventually accepts Luigi's proposal, which throws Tito into an even deeper melancholy. Simonetta learns of Tito's affections for her before she marries Luigi. She tells Tito she loved him before she loved Luigi, then goes to break her engagement with Luigi.
While Simonetta is breaking her engagement, Tito and Simon begin rehearsing some new material for their Flik and Flok act. Tito does not believe Simonetta's love is genuine, but that it is just pity and at the same time, he knows that as her adopted father - it would not be right to have her as his wife. Driven insane by his internal conflict, he decides to practice his new routine from the act without protection. Despite his brother Simon's protests, he continues with the stunt and falls from the highwire.
Tito dies from his fall, freeing Simonetta to marry Luigi.
The film survives in an incomplete print, but the missing footage does not critically affect the storyline.[ citation needed ] The surviving print seems to end rather abruptly, as the last few seconds of the fadeout are among the lost footage.[ citation needed ] The alternate happy ending - wherein Tito survives his fall and Simonetta marries Luigi, and they all remain close friends - shot at the studio's insistence, has also been lost.[ citation needed ]
The film is based on the 1923 Broadway stage production Laugh, Clown, Laugh that starred Lionel Barrymore and his second wife Irene Fenwick in the role of Simonetta. The play by David Belasco and Tom Cushing, based on a 1919 story Ridi, Pagliaccio by Fausto Maria Martini [ citation needed ], ran at the Belasco Theatre from November 28, 1923 to March 1924, for a total of 133 performances. The production also featured Lucille Kahn in a supporting role.
MGM delayed production of this film several years, because Chaney had already appeared as a clown character in the 1924 film He Who Gets Slapped and due to speculation that Lionel Barrymore might reprise his role from the stage production. As a substitute, MGM would pair Barrymore with Chaney in West of Zanzibar .[ citation needed ]
As a trouping comic stage actor in his youth, Chaney would have been acquainted with clown performers of lesser-known fame. In preparation for this film and He Who Gets Slapped Chaney also studied the clown makeup of circus performers and legendary 19th-century clown stage actors like Joseph Grimaldi and George L. Fox, the latter of Humpty Dumpty fame.[ citation needed ] The film was said to have been Chaney's favorite of all his roles.
This film was Loretta Young's first major movie role, at the age of fourteen. In interviews near the end of her life,[ citation needed ] she expressed her gratitude toward Chaney for his kindness and guidance, and for protecting her from director Brenon's sometimes harsh treatment.[ citation needed ]
An eponymous musical theme was written specially for the film.It was seemingly played for audiences in movie theatres [in the minutes before screenings of the movie]. It became a hit record. Chaney's set musicians played the song at his 1930 funeral.
Author and film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film three out of a possible four stars, calling it " the perfect example of Chaney's unmatched talent for turning tearjerking melodrama into heartbreaking tragedy."
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
In January 2002, the third annual Young Film Composers Competition sponsored by Turner Classic Movies awarded the right to re-score this film to a college student named Scott Salinas.[ citation needed ] In November 2002, he scored it at Todd-AO, with the film first aired in February 2003.[ citation needed ]
Tod Browning was an American film director, film actor, screenwriter and vaudeville performer. Browning's career spanned the silent film and sound film eras. Best known as the director of Dracula (1931), Freaks (1932), and silent film collaborations with Lon Chaney and Priscilla Dean, Browning directed many movies in a wide range of genres, between 1915 and 1939.
The Hollywood Revue of 1929, or simply The Hollywood Revue, is an American pre-Code musical comedy film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was the studio's second feature-length musical, and one of their earliest sound films. Produced by Harry Rapf and Irving Thalberg and directed by Charles Reisner, it features nearly all of MGM's stars in a two-hour revue that includes three segments in Technicolor. The masters of ceremonies are Conrad Nagel and Jack Benny.
Lionel Barrymore was an American actor of stage, screen and radio as well as a film director. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in A Free Soul (1931), and remains best known to modern audiences for the role of villainous Mr. Potter in Frank Capra's 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life.
Loretta Young was an American actress. Starting as a child actress, she had a long and varied career in film from 1917 to 1953. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film The Farmer's Daughter (1947), and received her second Academy Award nomination for her role in Come to the Stable (1949). Young moved to the relatively new medium of television, where she had a dramatic anthology series, The Loretta Young Show, from 1953 to 1961. The series earned three Emmy Awards, and was re-run successfully on daytime TV and later in syndication. In the 1980s, Young returned to the small screen and won a Golden Globe for her role in Christmas Eve in 1986.
The Phantom of the Opera is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney in the title role of the deformed Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House, causing murder and mayhem in an attempt to make the woman he loves a star. The film remains most famous for Chaney's ghastly, self-devised make-up, which was kept a studio secret until the film's premiere. The film was released on November 15, 1925.
Pagliacci is an Italian opera in a prologue and two acts, with music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo. It is the composer's only opera that is still widely performed. Opera companies have frequently staged Pagliacci with Cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascagni, a double bill known colloquially as "Cav and Pag".
David Belasco was an American theatrical producer, impresario, director, and playwright. He was the first writer to adapt the short story Madame Butterfly for the stage, and he launched the theatrical career of many actors, including James O'Neill, Mary Pickford, Lenore Ulric and Barbara Stanwyck. Belasco pioneered many innovative new forms of stage lighting and special effects in order to create realism and naturalism.
Herbert Brenon was an Irish film director, actor and screenwriter during the era of silent movies through the 1930s.
He Who Gets Slapped is a 1924 American silent psychological thriller film starring Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer, and John Gilbert, and directed by Victor Sjöström. The film is based on the Russian play Тот, кто получает пощёчины by playwright Leonid Andreyev, which was published in 1914 and in English, as He Who Gets Slapped, in 1922. The Russian original was made into a Russian movie in 1916.
Evelyn Felisa Ankers was an American actress who often played variations on the role of the cultured young leading lady in the many American horror films during the 1940s, most notably The Wolf Man (1941) opposite Lon Chaney Jr., a frequent screen partner.
Nils Anton Alfhild Asther was a Swedish actor active in Hollywood from 1926 to the mid-1950s, known as "the male Greta Garbo". Between 1916 and 1963 he appeared in over 70 feature films, 16 of which were produced in the silent era. He is mainly remembered today for two silent films he made with fellow Swede Greta Garbo, and his portrayal of the title character in the controversial pre-Code Frank Capra film The Bitter Tea of General Yen.
Weird Woman is a 1944 Inner Sanctum film noir mystery and horror film directed by Reginald Le Borg and starring Lon Chaney Jr., Anne Gwynne, and Evelyn Ankers. The "Inner Sanctum" franchise originated with a popular radio series and all of the films star Chaney Jr. The film is one of several films based on the novel Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber, the others include Night of the Eagle (1962) and Witches' Brew (1980). Co-star Evelyn Ankers had previously worked with Chaney in Ghost of Frankenstein, when Chaney played the monster, and The Wolf Man, when Chaney played the wolf man.
The Sea Bat is a 1930 American pre-Code melodrama thriller film directed by Lionel Barrymore and Wesley Ruggles, starring Raquel Torres, Charles Bickford and featuring Boris Karloff. Part of the film was filmed on location in Mazatlán, Mexico. The film was originally intended as a vehicle for Lon Chaney, but he was too ill from throat cancer to undertake the project and died on August 26, 1930. The film concerns a community of sponge divers who are harassed by a large and hostile manta ray.
The Grip of Jealousy is a 1916 American silent drama film directed by Joe De Grasse, written by Ida May Park and starring Lon Chaney and Louise Lovely. It was based upon Ida May Park's story "Love Thine Enemy". The film is today considered lost. Two stills exist showing Lon Chaney in two somewhat different make-ups, one as the character Silas Lacey, and the other as Silas Lacey as an older man.
Bobbie of the Ballet is a 1916 American silent drama film directed by Joe De Grasse and starring Lon Chaney, Louise Lovely, Gretchen Lederer and Jay Belasco. It was written by Ida May Park, based on a story by Grant Carpenter.
Cissy Fitzgerald was an English-American vaudeville actress, dancer, and singer who appeared in numerous silent and sound films. Fitzgerald acted in a popular Gaiety Girl show beginning in 1894 and was filmed in the role for an Edison short during the early film era in 1896 in a self-titled short film shot by Thomas Edison's film company. She did not appear in films again until 1914 where she signed with the Vitagraph company and was quite popular in feature films and her own series of Cissy short films. Very little of Fitzgerald's silent material survives today but she can be seen in a comic backup role in the 1928 Lon Chaney vehicle Laugh, Clown, Laugh.
The Side Show of Life is a 1924 American silent drama film produced by Famous Players-Lasky, directed by Herbert Brenon and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film is based on the novel The Mountebank by William J. Locke, which had been turned into a play by Ernest Denny.
Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day is a 1941 American drama film directed by Harold S. Bucquet, starring Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore, and Laraine Day. It is the eighth of a total of nine Dr. Kildare pictures made by the MGM studios. When MGM decided to move up-and-coming star Laraine Day out of the "Dr. Kildare" series, the studio did so in a startlingly dramatic fashion. Adding extra interest to this film in the Kildare series, Barrymore composed the music credited to the Cornelia Bartlett character, and actor Red Skelton provides comic relief.
The Night of January 16th is a 1941 American film directed by William Clemens, based on a 1934 play of the same name by Ayn Rand. The story follows Steve Van Ruyle and Kit Lane as they investigate the apparent murder of Lane's boss, in an attempt to clear her as a suspect.
Charles Cyprian Strong Cushing was an American playwright who wrote under the name Tom Cushing.
Theme Song of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Production Laugh·Clown·Laugh Starring Lon Chaney
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Laugh, Clown, Laugh .|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Laugh, Clown, Laugh|