"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Chaney plays Paul Beaumont, an aspiring scientist who loses everything in one horrific day – his theories are stolen, he is disgraced before his peers, and his wife scorns him in favour of the man who robbed him. Each horror culminates in a slap to the face. Beaumont cracks, begins to laugh, and the next time we see him he’s employed as a circus clown and known only as HE. And then the film’s true story begins...
Freud once remarked that Chaplin was a simple case: a rich man driven to endlessly replay the trauma of poverty by dressing as a tramp. As usual, Freud was mistaken, at least partly: Chaplin quickly tired of his tramp persona but was compelled by the public to maintain it. But Chaney’s character, HE, obsessively revisits his own trauma, re-enacting the slap that ended his first life, again and again, for the delectation of the circus audience. As an exploration of emotional masochism, He Who gets Slapped is an extraordinary work, far removed from the romantic glitz MGM would make its stock-in-trade. #