Louis B. Mayer Presents
A Metro-Goldwyn Picture
Released: December 22, 1924

Featured cast: Lon Chaney, John Gilbert, Tully Marshall, Norma Shearer

Producer: Irving G. Thalberg
Director: Victor Sjӧstrom (as Victor Seastrom)
Screenwriters: Carey Wilson; Marian Ainslee (titles)
Source: the Leonid Andreyev play
Cinematographer: Milton Moore


When a scientist is robbed of both his discovery and his wife, he hides his grief behind clown makeup.


“Lon Chaney is slated to play the male lead in He Who Gets Slapped.”
- “Coast Brevities” The Film Daily, June 27, 1924


“Lon Chaney, the clown who accepts the kicks and jeers of the multitude, gives an interpretation of surpas­sing fineness. One of his tender moments with the little bareback rider whom he so hopelessly loves, is memor­able. Norma Shearer, too, is delightful in the freshness and gaiety of youth.”
- Theatre Magazine, February 1925

He Who Gets Slapped is undoubtedly a fine moving picture. Among those responsible for its success are the author of the stage play, Leonid Andreyev, who provided the producers of the picture with material particularly suited to the screen; Victor Seastrom, who has given it some of his excellent brand of direction; Lon Chaney of the versatile face and skillful pantomime; and the refreshingly different Norma Shearer—not to mention a high class lion, who does his important bit in the denouement.”
- Alva Taylor, Liberty Magazine, December 27, 1924

“Norma Shearer as the little circus rider about whom the love interest revolves is charming and delightful at the same time. She lends the needed touch of youth in the cast. John Gilbert, who plays opposite is fully ade­quate as the young lover.”
- Variety, November 12, 1924


“For once it has proven that a really artistic achievement can also be a box-office winner. He Who Gets Slapped played to $70,463 in seven days before settling in for a second week.”
- “‘He’ Breaks All Capitol Records,” Exhibitors Trade Review, November 29, 1924


“What could have been more appropriate for the first true M-G-M production than Victor Seastrom’s He Who Gets Slapped, a poignant and beautiful tale of European circus life. Leo the lion made his first official appearance with this picture. As Consuelo the bareback rider I rode with two brilliant stars, Lon Chaney, who played ‘He’, the mysterious clown, and Jack Gilbert, who played my handsome riding partner.”
- Norma Shearer, Memoir Notes


He Who Gets Slapped cost $172,000 and grossed $881,000.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include profits from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)


Behind the Scenes