Gwynplaine, son of Lord Clancharlie, has a permanent smile carved on his face by the King, in revenge for Gwynplaine’s father’s treachery. Gwynplaine is adopted by a travelling showman and becomes a popular idol. He falls in love with the blind Dea. The king dies, and his evil jester tries to destroy or corrupt Gwynplaine. —IMDb
Paul Leni was born in 1885 in Stuttgart and died in 1929 in Hollywood. After training as a draftsman at an ornamental ironworks, he studied at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts, followed by work designing film posters and stage sets. He worked in film from 1913 onwards, making his debut as a director with “Das Tagebuch des Dr. Hart” in 1916. After the First World War, he designed the sets for Leopold Jessner’s melodrama “Backstairs” (1921). In 1924, he directed the episodic film “Waxworks” (“Das Wachsfigurenkabinett”). In the years that followed, he worked primarily as a set designer for various producers.
From 1926 onwards, he arranged several stage shows in New York, and designed numerous crime thrillers for the Hollywood producer Carl Laemmle, causing a sensation with his ingenious lighting and visual effects. His other films include: “Dornroeschen” (1917), “Die platonische Ehe” (1918), “Prince Cuckoo” (“Prinz Kuckuck”, 1919), “The Genoa Conspiracy” (“Die Verschwoerung zu Genua”… read more
Sometimes mediocrity in movies reminds us of greatness. For me, this almost always involves watching a contemporary picture and being reminded of something much better that unspooled years ago for a lucky audience. Read more: http://cinemauprising.blogspot.com/2009/08/casablanca-caligari-conrad-veidt.html