Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

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Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Post  Scorp on Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:31 pm

Finally got round to seeing this after getting the DVD very cheap on Amazon.

This isn't an adaptation of Phantom but I felt it was appropriate to put it in this thread as it's a biopic of the terrific Lon Chaney Sr. Those of you who have Perry's Complete Phantom book will have seen the stills from this film of James Cagney, who plays Lon Chaney, in the Chaney Phantom make-up re-enacting the famous unmasking sequence from the 1925 film.

As it turns out, the re-enactment is probably one of the film's weakest offerings -- the make-up aside, Cagney's imitation of Chaney isn't very faithful and indeed the entire scene is nothing like how it is in the real thing. The Christine is also a blonde and looks nothing like Mary Philbin, while the set bears no resemblance to the lair in the 1925 film.

Don't let you put that off, though -- overall, I found the film very moving and it made me both laugh and tear up. The scenes of Lon's family life and his relationship with his son are heartbreaking. Definitely worth a watch and it's made me raid Amazon to find some other Chaney classics I've not yet seen. Has anyone got any recommendations, incidentally, besides the obvious Phantom and Hunchback?

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Re: Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Post  Paula74 on Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:00 pm

I like this movie a great deal. I think that the first I'd heard of it was the reference in the Perry book. I originally watched it for the Phantom bit and didn't pay much attention to the rest of the movie.

But, some years later, I got interested in James Cagney's films...I was channel-surfing and caught the last quarter of Angels With Dirty Faces and Yankee Doodle Dandy is one of my favorite movies in general...so I ended up watching Man of A Thousand Faces again.

I agree that the Phantom part isn't a good as it should be, but the movie itself is and I definitely recommend it.

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Re: Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Post  RoseOfTransylvania on Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:46 pm

I read that Chaney jr called it "treating bastard nicely" or something. He claimed his father was sadist. I have no idea did he lie or not.

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Re: Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Post  Scorp on Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:35 pm

RoseOfTransylvania wrote:I read that Chaney jr called it "treating bastard nicely" or something. He claimed his father was sadist. I have no idea did he lie or not.

Was their relationship really that bad??

Fans of Chaney Sr should definitely check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiCxcfYWZvI&feature=related -- it's a 90-minute documentary on Chaney's life and career narrated by Kenneth Branagh.

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Re: Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Post  RoseOfTransylvania on Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:28 pm

Scorp wrote:
RoseOfTransylvania wrote:I read that Chaney jr called it "treating bastard nicely" or something. He claimed his father was sadist. I have no idea did he lie or not.

Was their relationship really that bad??

Fans of Chaney Sr should definitely check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiCxcfYWZvI&feature=related -- it's a 90-minute documentary on Chaney's life and career narrated by Kenneth Branagh.
Quite frankly, I have no idea! confused This story was told by screenwriter of Man of a thousand faces in an interview. I really can´t confirm anything.

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Re: Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Post  ladygodiva on Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:16 am

RoseOfTransylvania wrote:
Scorp wrote:
RoseOfTransylvania wrote:I read that Chaney jr called it "treating bastard nicely" or something. He claimed his father was sadist. I have no idea did he lie or not.

Was their relationship really that bad??

Fans of Chaney Sr should definitely check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiCxcfYWZvI&feature=related -- it's a 90-minute documentary on Chaney's life and career narrated by Kenneth Branagh.
Quite frankly, I have no idea! confused This story was told by screenwriter of Man of a thousand faces in an interview. I really can´t confirm anything.


I am wondering if Lon Chaney Jr. and Lon Chaney SR. situation was like Joan Crawford and Christina Crawford, Joan died, left Christina out of the will or did not leave her much, and Christina wrote a book Mommy Dearest, that became a campish movie with Faye Dunaway, while I am not a fan of people who attack another without the other being around to defend themselves.

If Lon Chaney SR. was rotton to Chaney Jr. that would be sad, to say the least, (I would hope not, I have been a fan of Lon Chaney Sr. for ages.) so I am wondering if Jr. was left out of the will.?

it seems that a lot of children of Hollywood stars, wrote tell all books after Mom or Pop died.

it is a shame, really

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Re: Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Post  RoseOfTransylvania on Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:21 am

I agree that when other person is dead, then it is easy to throw all kind of filth. Ripperologists like Alan "old paralysed man was Ripper" Moore are excellent examples of this... Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Post  ladygodiva on Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:52 am

RoseOfTransylvania wrote:I agree that when other person is dead, then it is easy to throw all kind of filth. Ripperologists like Alan "old paralysed man was Ripper" Moore are excellent examples of this... Evil or Very Mad

Exactly, nothing upsets me more than someone who throws stones at someone else who cannot be present to defend themselves., Right you are

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Re: Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Post  ladygodiva on Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:15 pm

What an incredible documentary, and what an incredible actor he was, and I hope that we will be blessed with restored prints of more of his films, God bless the restorers and the archives,

it is so sad that the studios destroyed most of his films for the silver content,

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Re: Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Post  AlwaysChristine on Sun May 01, 2011 11:43 am

Great documentation about a great actor!

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