The Man Who Laughs at Brattle Theatre
Whether or not you’re excited for Joaquin Phoenix’s turn as Batman’s arch-enemy, The Joker, you’ll be thrilled by this expressionistic silent film that features the prototype for the famous comic book nemesis. When his father is executed and his face is carved with a permanent smile by the cruel King James II, 17th century youth Gwynplaine (Veidt) survives as the main attraction of a traveling carnival. Later in life, as he struggles with his disfigurement and his love for the beautiful, blind Dea (Philbin), his true lineage is discovered and he must fight to regain his future.
“THE MAN WHO LAUGHS is a melodrama, at times even a swashbuckler, but so steeped in Expressionist gloom that it plays like a horror film.”
– Roger Ebert
“As usual in Hugo, love is measured in sacrifice, yielding a sincere and extravagant sense of romance.”
– J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader