The Man Who Laughs: grotesque Victor Hugo potboiler was the basis for The Joker, now out in the USA


That book rocked!

Clearing “irrelevancies” from Hugo results in monstrosities like every single adaptation of NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS (except George Evans’s superb Classics Illustrated version).

The only thing The Man who Laughs needs is a newer translation. Even in the stilted 19th-century prose we have at Gutenberg, it’s a hell of a yarn.

HI, Cory,

I liked the novel, but I read it after seeing the 1928 movie. I’d like to mention that Conrad Veidt played Gwynplaine in the movie, and actor better known to us in the US as Major Strasser in “Casablanca.” Mr. Veidt was quite a heartthrob back in his early days, though, and he also played Cesara, the somnambulist in “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.”

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