7.9/10
2,755
45 user 20 critic

He Who Gets Slapped (1924)

A bitter clown endeavors to rescue the young woman he loves from the lecherous count who once betrayed him.

Director:

Victor Sjöström (as Victor Seastrom)

Writers:

Leonid Andreyev (adapted from the play by), Carey Wilson (adapted for the screen by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Lon Chaney ... Paul Beaumont / HE
Norma Shearer ... Consuelo
John Gilbert ... Bezano
Ruth King Ruth King ... Marie Beaumont
Marc McDermott ... Baron Regnard
Ford Sterling ... Tricaud
Tully Marshall ... Count Mancini
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pierre Watkin ... spectator in audience at HE's final performance
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Storyline

Story of an inventor who, suffering betrayal in life, makes a career of it by becoming a clown whose act consists of getting slapped by all the other clowns. He falls in love with another circus performer, and those who betrayed him enter his life yet again. Written by Robert Tonsing <rtonsing@ti.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE famous stage success now comes to take its place among the immortal heart dramas of the screen. It is unquestionably one of the most gripping stories ever filmed. (Print Ad- Beacon Daily Herald,((Beacon, NY)) 15 January 1925) See more »


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1924 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Akit arcul csaptak See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$172,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White | Color (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a video published online in August 2017 a fan identified Bela Lugosi as an extra in this film. Further videos later appeared, published by the same fan, showing that Lugosi had acted as extra playing not only a clown, but also an academia professor type, in a later scene. This corroborates what had long been suspected, since the 1950s, when fan turned friend of Mr. Lugosi---Richard Sheffield---had uncovered while poring over the late actor's affairs: in Bela's own scrapbook, where he cataloged his on-screen work, there was a photo he had kept from this film. Since the photo didn't depict him, it had long being speculated why he kept it along in that scrapbook, and whether Bela Lugosi had appeared at all in this film. After more than 9 decades, the other fan solved this mystery once and for all. That first video is titled "EXCLUSIVE: Bela Lugosi finally spotted in He Who Gets Slapped! (1924) silent film". See more »

Goofs

During part of the scene where the lion is loose in the room, Beaumont is seen with no, or hardly any, black makeup around his right eye. Before and after this scene, both eyes are made up. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: Laughter - the bitterest and most subtle death to hope...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Twenty Years After (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another Master Class From Mr. Lon Chaney
6 July 2004 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A celebrated circus clown, HE Who Gets Slapped, plots the punishment of two evil aristocrats.

Lon Chaney, the Silent Screen's master chameleon, adds another portrait to his gallery of pathetic grotesques. This time he plays a scientist who becomes a clown after his former life is destroyed by his adulterous wife and a faithless friend. A young woman provides him with someone to secretly adore, until her wicked father threatens to ruin her happiness. Chaney's face is an absolute wonder to watch as it registers pain, anguish, distress and unrequited passion, underlining the modern reassessment of him as one of cinema's greatest actors. Uninhibited in his circus costume & makeup, he provides no doubt but that he, under different circumstances, could have become a marvelous big top clown.

This was the first release of the new film company merger Metro-Goldwyn, thus making Chaney their first star, and was an important rung up the ladder for the two performers playing the young lovers. Norma Shearer & John Gilbert would soon be major movie celebrities--here they give good account of themselves as the circus' daredevil & bareback riders, and as Chaney's truest friends (both unaware of his love for Miss Shearer). In a film full of circus excitement, the director has given the young couple a moment of unexpected beauty: whilst on a picnic their innocent affections are noticed by a passing peasant, who gives the call of the cuckoo as the perfect grace note to their bucolic joy.

Marc McDermott as a brutal Baron and Tully Marshall as a dissolute Count make villains well worthy of the harshest retribution. Comic Ford Sterling plays one of Chaney's fellow clowns.

The Studio gave this silent film fine production values, while director Victor Sjöström added little embellishments of cinematic flair, dealing with scenes of mysterious clown figures representing fate, which enhance the film.


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