Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Man Who Laughs

This is not a photo of Cesar Romero or Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger. It is Conrad Veidt as he appeared in The Man Who Laughs.

I first heard many decades ago about how the appearance of Batman's nemesis The Joker could be traced back to that film.  I never felt any particular yearning to see the movie for myself but, well, here I am with a Netflix subscription and (chuckle) all this copious free time...

I was shocked at the weirdness and depravity of the 1928 film. Gypsy doctors performing surgical procedures on children to disfigure their faces into permanent smiles? Yikes!

Unfortunately the movie drags on far too long, zooming right past at least three spots that would have served perfectly well as the ending. You can watch the entire movie on YouTube (now you tell me!) where it is split into eleven separate segments each running about ten minutes. The first segment is the best one (interestingly, it has been viewed seven times as often as some of the later segments) and you can sample it yourself over here.


Post a Comment

<< Home