Lon Chaney earned his nickname "The Man of a Thousand Faces" with a gallery of grotesque, misshapen characters created through a combination of elaborate makeup, contorted postures, and sensitive performances. After a rich silent-movie career starring in such classics as He Who Gets Slapped, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Phantom of the Opera, he died after completing his first and only sound film, a remake of his silent crime picture The Unholy Three. James Cagney plays Chaney in this glossy Hollywood biography, a reverent, melodramatic tribute that focuses on his turbulent private life and rise from vaudeville clown to hard-working Hollywood extra to movie star. Dorothy Malone costars as his unstable first wife, who flees her husband and their young son after a failed suicide attempt, Jane Greer is the loving showgirl who fills her void, and future real-life superproducer Robert Evans plays legendary MGM producer Irving Thalberg. Cagney is a short, thick pug of an actor where Chaney is tall and lean, but he oddly resembles the star in his craggy face, and his rarely tapped dancing skills are put to good use in the early vaudeville scenes and contorted recreations of twisted Chaney characters. But most importantly, Cagney brings to the role passion and compassion that burn through the indifferent direction and show-biz clichés to create a vivid, energetic portrait of the enigmatic cult star who rarely let audiences see his true face. --Sean Axmaker
Academy Award winner James Cagney gives an unforgettable performance as Lon Chaney in this fascinating true story that follows the life of one of the most iconic and mysterious stars in Hollywood history!
Known as the "Man of a Thousand Faces", silent film star Lon Chaney captured the imagination of the world through his incredibly expressive and transformative roles, such as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Phantom from the original Phantom of the Opera. Behind the scenes, however, this long-suffering talented genius' life was filled with trials and tribulations that helped shape some of his most groundbreaking roles.
The Academy Award nominated Man of a Thousand Faces captures the dramatic private life of a humble vaudeville clown who rose to become one of the biggest stars the world has ever seen!
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