THE MAN WHO LAUGHS

The Martha's Vineyard Film Society is proud to welcome back the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra (BSFO) for their new, original score to Universal Pictures’ The Man Who Laughs (1928). Universal itself has commissioned Berklee to create the original score recording for their brand-new restoration of the film, the first time a Hollywood studio has ever engaged the students of a college or university to score one of its features.

90 years after Victor Hugo’s story of human cruelty and the redemptive power of love first captivated global film audiences, Universal Pictures’ The Man Who Laughs,a melodrama embued with a penetrating darkness, returns to the screen. Roger Ebert has called the film "One of the final treasures of German silent Expressionism.” Its shadowy exteriors, the carnival setting, and the demonically misshapen "hero” — the ackowledged inspiration for DC Comics’ The Joker — made director Paul Leni’sThe Man Who Laughs something entirely new to American cinema, and the foundation upon which the classic Universal horror films would be built.

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