Man of a Thousand Faces


Biography / Drama

IMDb Rating 7.2 10 2,017


Downloaded 11,716 times
November 20, 2019



Jack Albertson as Sleep-Out Charlie Barnes
James Cagney as Cody Jarett
Jim Backus as Mitch Davis
Troy Donahue as Police Psychiatrist
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.02 GB
23.976 fps
122 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.87 GB
23.976 fps
122 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jpdoherty 8 / 10 / 10

Cagney - Man Of A Thousand Parts

MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES is one of Hollywood's better films about Hollywood! Produced by Universal International in 1957 it recounts the life and times of one of the silent screens most formidable icons - Lon Chaney. From an excellent Oscar nominated screenplay by R.Wright Cambell, Ben Roberts and Ivan Goff it was skillfully directed by Joseph Pevney. Peveny, himself a useful supporting player in such movies as "Body And Soul" (1947) and Fox's "Street With No Name (1948) directed some of Universal's biggest productions i.e. "Away All Boats" (1956), "Tammy & The Bachelor" (1957) and one of Erroll Flynn's last efforts "Istanbul" (1957). Playing the leading role in this marvellous biopic is James Cagney who gives an outstanding measured performance as Lon Chaney the strange tortured character actor of silent pictures who, ironically, died from throat cancer with the advent of the talkies. Crisply photographed in black & white Cinemascope by the great Russell Metty ("Touch Of Evil") the picture conveys a strong sense of time and place. Expertly evoked is Vaudeville in the early part of the 20th Century where Chaney began as a song and dance man (Cagney delighting us with his special brand of hoofing) and early Hollywood where he became an extra at Universal Studios. Then with the help of his make-up box and his uncanny facility to alter his appearance - sometimes resulting in great pain - he soon became known as The Man Of A 1000 Faces. Notable reconstructions of Chaney's creations are quite brilliantly achieved in the picture. Cagney excels as the cripple being cured in a reworking of Chaney's famous scene from "The Miracle Man" (1919)and the phantom being unmasked in "Phantom Of The Opera" (1925). But especially noteworthy is a re-staging of Chaney's "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame" (1923). Here Cagney is totally unrecognizable as he replicates Chaney's interpretation of Quasimodo being whipped on the punishment wheel in the village square. It is an intense moment in the picture and a remarkable achievement for Cagney the consummate actor! Little wonder that the great Orson Welles in the seventies declared that the screen's greatest actor was James Cagney! Others in the cast of this splendid film are Dorothy Malone giving an excellent performance as the singer and Chaney's first wife Cleva Creighton, Jane Greer as his second wife, Jim Backus as his press agent and Robert Evens as the boy wonder of the motion picture business Irving Thalberg. The picture also boasts a terrific music score by the underrated and now wholly forgotten film composer Frank Skinner (1897/1968). Skinner was composer in residence at Universal for many years and composed the music for some of their most prestigious productions such as "Tap Roots" (1948), "Magnificent Obsession" (1954), "Madame X" (1965) and "Shenandoah" (1965). "Man Of A 1000 Faces" was, however, his finest achievement! A soundtrack album of his music from the film - issued at the time of the picture's release - is now a much sought after recording! A wonderful movie on DVD presented in a sharp black & white widescreen format that every collector will want to own if only for Cagney's amazing performance. His Lon Chaney is just as powerful and just as memorable as his George M. Cohan, Cody Jarret or Marty "The Gimp" Snyder!

Reviewed by olddiscs 6 / 10 / 10

There'll never be another Cagney!

I just this afternoon watched Man of 1000 Faces starring the magnificent!! James Cagney.... what a talent he was... & this is a fine film bio of another screen great, Lon Chaney, Sr.../ Cagney is wonderful and gives a tour de force performance... why he wasn't Oscar nominated for this I'll never Know???? I do not know how accurate a film bio this is... but its entertaining and moving.. Cagney is the reason for seeing this film,,,he is ably supported by Dorothy Malone, (who sometimes tends to overemote but is effective in this), Jane Greer, looks and acts wonderfully, Jim Backus, and a very young Roger Smith... Good makeup, interesting plot, and Cagney's at top form... (maybe his least appreciated role) My parents introduced me to movies early on... Dad favored Warner Bros. Mom, MGM, but what treats and talents I inherited fom both...Warners gave us Bogey, Bette,and Cagney....MGM, Garbo, Gable & Crawford,), we will never see talents such as these again... rent or buy Man of 1000 Faces 1957 !

Reviewed by jotix100 6 / 10 / 10

A man for all faces

As biopics go, this 1957 film shows limited interest today. The legendary figure of Lon Chaney is examined by the same Hollywood where he went to make a legend out of his life. He was a giant in the world of silent films because of the disguises he created for the movies during his second career in the industry. Chaney was a man way ahead of himself as far as the creation of the special type of makeup he used for all the different characters he played. Lon Chaney's roots were in vaudeville, where he also was greatly admired. However, his lucky break came not in the theater, but in the new industry of the moving pictures that was starting in California. Mr. Chaney was able to bring something new to those pictures that sparked the imagination of audiences in the many films he starred in. His association with the legendary Irving Thalberg helped cement his own status in the movie business. His personal life though, was not a happy one. His first wife, the beautiful Cleva Creighton, showed she did not care from him and abandoned Lon and her young son without a second thought. Chaney received a big blow in the custody of the young son, Creighton, who was placed in an orphanage because he couldn't show means of support for the child. Being separated from his son Creighton was a big blow to the man who adored the young boy but couldn't get his custody until he made a name for himself in the film industry. His life with Hazel, his second wife, turned out to be a fine one without the ups and downs that affected his first one. The main attraction for watching this film was James Cagney, an actor who always gave an honest performance. In here, though, he seems to be playing a variation on his own "Yankee Doodle Dandy" in the first segment devoted to his life as an entertainer in the theater. The other half, his arrival in the movies, is not as interesting as the beginning. The film, directed by Joseph Pivney, doesn't break new ground in the way the narrative plays in the film. Dorothy Malone, who is seen as Cleva, has some interesting moments. Jane Greer is also effective as the sweet Hazel, the woman who always loved Chaney from afar.

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