7.2/10
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47 user 30 critic

Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

The life and career of vaudevillian and silent screen horror star Lon Chaney, including his contentious relationship with his neurotic wife and his premature death.

Director:

Joseph Pevney
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Lon Chaney
Dorothy Malone ... Cleva Creighton Chaney
Jane Greer ... Hazel Bennet Chaney
Marjorie Rambeau ... Gert
Jim Backus ... Clarence Locan
Robert Evans ... Irving Thalberg (as Robert J. Evans)
Celia Lovsky ... Mrs. Chaney
Jeanne Cagney ... Carrie Chaney
Jack Albertson ... Dr. J. Wilson Shields
Roger Smith ... Creighton Chaney at 21
Robert Lyden Robert Lyden ... Creighton Chaney at 13
Rickie Sorensen Rickie Sorensen ... Creighton Chaney at 8
Dennis Rush Dennis Rush ... Creighton Chaney at 4
Nolan Leary ... Pa Chaney
Simon Scott Simon Scott ... Carl Hastings
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Storyline

Loose biography of actor Lon Chaney. Growing up with deaf parents, he learns what it is like to be different. As an actor, he puts that knowledge (together with lots of make-up and talent) to use playing a variety of strange, unusual characters, adopting their characteristics so thoroughly as to be called the Man of a Thousand Faces. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

WHAT WAS THE SECRET BEHIND THE MAN BEHIND THE THOUSAND FACES? (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

19 November 1957 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Mann mit den 1000 Gesichtern See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Cagney had previously acted alongside Lon Chaney's son Lon Chaney Jr in A Lion Is In The Streets (1953). See more »

Goofs

Lon Chaney did not die at home surrounded by loved ones, he died very suddenly in the hospital (around midnight) after suffering a hemorrhage. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Guard: Good morning, Mr. Thalberg.
Irving Thalberg: Good morning.
See more »

Connections

References London After Midnight (1927) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont (as James Lord Pierpont) (1857)
integrated into soundtrack when Chaney family reunites at Christmas
See more »

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User Reviews

Above average of its type
9 February 2004 | by jaykay-10See all my reviews

This picture distinguishes itself from the all-too-familiar reverential and sentimental quasi-biographies of show business legends by emphasizing the complex relationship between Lon Chaney and his first wife, Cleva Creighton, and by treating their problems in an even-handed manner. She emerges as flawed and difficult to deal with - but so does he. Their child is caught in the middle.

The story would be of interest even if it did not concern a famous person. Chaney's career provides a colorful background to an essentially human drama, one which may present its characters too often as one-dimensional prototypes lacking depth or subtlety, but is nevertheless a drama which (except for the maudlin deathbed scene) effectively develops the genuine emotional conflicts at its core. In a solid cast, Dorothy Malone, as Cleva, is most notable.


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