He Who Gets Slapped

He Who Gets Slapped

Lon Chaney in He Who Gets Slapped, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news

The Victor Sjöström-Lon Chaney classic He Who Gets Slapped is due to get the modern-score-from-rock-musician-seeking-new-challenges treatment, as BBC News Online reports:

Goldfrapp star writes film score

Goldfrapp keyboardist Will Gregory is joining the BBC Concert Orchestra for the premiere of his new score to silent film classic He Who Gets Slapped.

Portishead’s Adrian Utley will also take part in the performances, in Bristol and London in December.

The 1924 film was the first to be made by MGM and stars Lon Chaney – who also appeared as The Phantom of the Opera – as a clown who gets 200 slaps a day.

Gregory said the film was an “overlooked masterpiece”.

‘Presence and charisma’

Chaney, who was one of the biggest film stars of the day, regarded his role in the film as his best.

“Whenever he is on screen he exudes such presence and charisma that it is easy to see why he was the most celebrated screen actor of his day,” Gregory added.

Chaney, who also starred as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, died in 1930, after making his only “talkie”, The Unholy Three. He was played by James Cagney in a 1957 biopic, Man of a Thousand Faces.

Jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard and drummer Tony Orrell will also perform, while the BBC Concert Orchestra will be conducted by Charles Hazelwood at the shows, at Colston Hall in Bristol and London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 1 and 3 December.

There are further details on the Colston Hall and South Bank Centre sites. Silent films are the new rock’n’roll, you know.