THE TOWER OF LIES

Produced and Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: October 11, 1925

Featured cast: Norma Shearer, Lon Chaney, William Haines, Ian Keith

Producer: Irving G. Thalberg
Director: Victor Seastrom
Screenwriters: Agnes Christine Johnson, Max Marcin (scenario); Marian Ainslee, Ruth Cummings (titles)
Source: the Selma Lagerlof novel The Emperor of Portugallia
Cinematographer: Percy Hilburn

THEME

A Swedish farmer finds joy in the birth of a daughter but his landlord separates them.

PRODUCTION QUOTE

“Agnes Christine Jonson has just completed the continuity for the production which will be directed by Victor Seastrom under the title The Tower of Lies.”
- “Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to Film Swedish Story,” Motion Picture News, May 30, 1925

REVIEWS

“Lon Chaney’s performance as the grief-crazed Jan is one of the most notable of recent screen portraits. He ceases to be a Hollywood actor and really becomes the poor old peasant. The grim old woman, as Claire McDowell plays her, seems less the actor and more the actual person portrayed than any player this reviewer has encountered since Gibson Gowland, who had the leading role in Greed. Norma Shearer, as the daughter, has a more conventional role than either Miss McDowell or Chaney, but she acts her scenes admira­bly.”
- Richard Watts Jr., Theatre Magazine, December 1925

“Norma Shearer makes a fine Glory. In the sequence where she returns from the city wealthy in the wages of sin, she is most effective. The transition is well done.”
- Herb Cruikshank, Exhibitor’s Trade Review, October 10, 1925

TRADE ARTICLE

“‘Showed Tower of Lies last night with 300 people standing. It’s in a class with The Merry Widow.’ Jed Buell, Manager, De Luxe Theatre, West Coast Langley Circuit.”
- “Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Live Wires,” Motion Picture News, November 25, 1925

ARTIST COMMENT

“I was the innocent young daughter who had to go to the big city to find a way to pay off the mortgage on the farm. I am afraid that I was not ready to handle this heavy drama. The evils and degradation of prostitution just hadn’t reached me.”
- Norma Shearer, Memoir Notes

FIGURES

The Tower of Lies cost $185,000 and grossed $653,000.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include profits from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)

Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Ad Art