The Man Who Laughs

  • USA
  • 1928
  • 110 mins
  • Without dialogue
  • English (subtitles)
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Special Presentation $40

Gabriel Thibaudeau’s original score for the film will be interpreted live by a nine-piece orchestra

After METROPOLIS and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, Gabriel Thibaudeau and Fantasia are teaming up once again for the presentation of a unique cinematographic concert of THE MAN WHO LAUGHS, a 1928 American film by the German Expressionist film maker Paul Leni, inspired by Victor Hugo’s novel “L'Homme qui rit.”

In England in the late 17th century, King James II sentences his political enemy, Lord Clancharlie, to death in an iron maiden. Clancharlie's son, Gwynplaine, is facially disfigured by child trafficker Dr. Hardquannone, so that he will “laugh forever at his fool of a father.” When Hardquannone and his cronies are exiled, Gwynplaine is deserted. He discovers a blind baby girl, Dea, who has also been abandoned. The two are taken under the wing of itinerant con man Ursus. Years later, a now-adult Gwynplaine has become the Laughing Man, the star attraction of a traveling carnival. He hides his love for Dea, considering himself unworthy of her. Meanwhile, records that reveal Gwynplaine's lineage and rightful inheritance have come to light…

THE MAN WHO LAUGHS is rightfully recognized as an early masterpiece of horror cinema, in which actor Conrad Veidt (WAXWORKS,THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI) brings to life an iconic screen “monster” in Gwynplaine (clearly the inspiration for Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker). Gabriel Thibaudeau’s original score for the film will be interpreted live by a nine-piece orchestra under the direction of the composer, and featuring the Quatuor Molinari. For almost 20 years, the romantic, post-Expressionist musical work has been performed live worldwide, from Paris to São Paulo, Tokyo to New York. Do not miss this true homage to silent cinema’s golden age!

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