Taking the occasion of last night’s Academy Awards ceremony I would like to recall that HE Who Gets Slapped (1924) is one of the great Hollywood films of the silent era. Starring Lon Chaney as HE, it was the first movie to be produced by the newly formed MGM. The trailer below replays last night’s big event in a form that might even illuminate it. Even if it doesn’t, it’s more edifying than last night’s shoddy display.

With a screenplay written and directed by Victor Sjöström — Ingmar Bergman fans know who he is — I am confident the film will outlive anything that Hollywood produced last year. Based on Russian source material, it is timely in that respect and others as well. The whole thing is posted here on YouTube and embedded below.

Epigraph: “In the grim comedy of life, it has been wisely said that the last laugh is the best.”

Quotable quote: “The Baron will make all the arrangements with the Academy.”

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