Wednesday, July 27, 2005

He Who Gets Slapped (1924)

Fine showcase for the talents of Lon Chaney, who should really be more famous than he is. He has one of his best roles here (as a humiliated scientist who, in his defeat, becomes a masochistic clown) and he makes the absolute best of it. His act, a strange metaphorical recreation of his fall from grace, is pretty wild and unforgettable; also, the ending is a wicked slice of over-the-top vengeance. The film threatens to come to a halt whenever we leave Chaney in favor of the dull horse-rider lovers, but I suppose it's necessary to keep the plot going so whatever.

Grade: B


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