Sunday, July 13, 2008

Conrad Veidt: Inspiration for The Joker

Who'd have thought that the Chicago Tribune could tell me something about comic books that I didn't know?

A fanboy at a comic con? Yes.

The Chicago Tribune?
Who'da thunk it?

In a photo spread on The Joker, I learned that the Clown Prince of Crime was inspired by the lead character Gwynplaine (played by Conrad Veidt) in the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo.

Heath Ledgers's Joker looks frightening as Hell, but as you can see from this pic, Conrad Veidt's Gwynplaine, with his white skin, slicked back hair, angular face and maniacal smile, really IS The Joker.

And I love it!

Incidentally, Mr. Veidt also played Major Heinrich Strasser in Casasblanca, my favorite movie, so he's sort of the connection between my love of old movies and my love of comic books.

What a career. A major role in Casablanca. The inspiration for The Joker...

If he was still alive, I would TOTALLY date him. Seeing as how I'm "easy" - - Easy like Sunday morning - - that's not saying much, but still...

6 comments:

Polt said...

Plu shis last name is the same as Ozymandias's last name in the Watchmen, yes another comic book connection.

yeah, I'd do him too...just to say I did the Joker, cause man he DOES look like him...

HUGS...

Project Christopher said...

Wow....

And that smile and look is without the help of prosthetic make up... he really DID smile that way.

ggymeta said...

There's a nod to Gwynplaine in the Justice League animated series; it's one of the best Joker eps in Justice League - when Joker comes to Vegas and takes over all the TV stations and introduces his rendition of the Royal Flush Gang.

^_- Batman shows up at some network honchos and demands to know if he sold airtime to a 'Gwynplaine Entertainment' - the guy smugly says yeah--he did...and Batman explains that it's the Joker!!

Stephen Rader said...

polt - I love the Ozymandias connection, too!! That's perfect!

chris - I love his smile. Isn't it frightening?!?!

ggymeta - The JUSTICE LEAGUE animated series was truly one of the best. So brilliant. So well written. And that reference went right past me. Thanks for telling me about it. You are brilliant!

cb said...

Feel free to date this dude-- in a coffin or not. He's creepy.

And something tells me that he might not be so good at giving head...

Java said...

That's creepy. Uber creepy.