Compare and Contrast: Grinning Gargoyles A Go-Go

on December 23, 2010 by Steve Simels
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A rather stunning closeup photo of Conrad Veidt as The Man Who Laughs (Paul Leni, 1928).

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An image, of course, that was the primary inspiration for the definitive 1940s Bob Kane/Jerry Robinson character design of The Batman's nemesis The Joker...

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...so it's interesting to see how director Christopher Nolan deliberately underplayed the death's head rictus for Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight (2008).

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Ledger's Joker may be a man of mystery, but the one thing we're reasonably sure of is that his freakish puss is the product of cosmetics, rather than an accidental disfigurement (Jack Nicholson, in the Tim Burton Batman) or (in the case of Veidt's character) a vengeful mutilation.

 

Tags: Conrad Veidt, The Man Who Laughs, Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
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