Charles Laughton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Charles Laughton (1 July 1899 – 15 December 1962) was an English-American stage and film actor, director, producer and screenwriter. Laughton was trained in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and first appeared professionally on the stage in 1926. In 1927, he was cast in a play with his future wife Elsa Lanchester, with whom he lived and worked until his death. He played a wide range of classical and modern parts, making an impact in Shakespeare at the Old Vic. His film career took him to Broadway and then Hollywood, but he also collaborated with Alexander Korda on notable British films of the era, including The Private Life of Henry VIII, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the title character. He portrayed everything from monsters and misfits to kings. Among Laughton's biggest film hits were The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Mutiny on the Bounty, Ruggles of Red Gap, Jamaica Inn, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Big Clock. In his later career, he took up stage directing, notably in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, and George Bernard Shaw's Don Juan in Hell, in which he also starred. He directed one film, the thriller The Night of the Hunter. Daniel Day-Lewis cited Laughton as one of his inspirations, saying: "He was probably the greatest film actor who came from that period of time. He had something quite remarkable. His generosity as an actor, he fed himself into that work. As an ...

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Arch of Triumph (1948)

In winter of 1938, Paris is crowded with refugees from the Nazis, who live in the black shadows of night, trying to evade deportation. One such is Dr. Ravic, who practices medicine illegally and stalks his old Nazi enemy Haake with murder in mind. One rainy night, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lewis Milestone
CAST:  Ingrid Bergman  •  Charles Boyer  •  Charles Laughton  •  Louis Calhern

In winter of 1938, Paris is crowded with refugees from the Nazis, who live in the black shadows of night, trying to evade deportation. One such is Dr. Ravic, who practices medicine illegally and stalks his old Nazi enemy Haake with murder in mind. One rainy night, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lewis Milestone
CAST:  Ingrid Bergman  •  Charles Boyer  •  Charles Laughton  •  Louis Calhern

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

Juliet Forrest is convinced that the reported death of her father in a mountain car crash was no accident. Her father was a prominent cheese scientist working on a secret recipe. To prove it was murder, she enlists the services of private eye Rigby Reardon. He ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Carl Reiner
CAST:  Steve Martin  •  Rachel Ward  •  Carl Reiner  •  Reni Santoni

Juliet Forrest is convinced that the reported death of her father in a mountain car crash was no accident. Her father was a prominent cheese scientist working on a secret recipe. To prove it was murder, she enlists the services of private eye Rigby Reardon. He ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Carl Reiner
CAST:  Steve Martin  •  Rachel Ward  •  Carl Reiner  •  Reni Santoni

Hobson's Choice (1954)

Henry Hobson owns and tyrannically runs a successful Victorian boot maker’s shop in Salford, England. A stingy widower with a weakness for overindulging in the local Moonraker Public House, he exploits his three daughters as cheap labour. When he declares that ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  John Mills  •  Brenda De Banzie  •  Daphne Anderson

Henry Hobson owns and tyrannically runs a successful Victorian boot maker’s shop in Salford, England. A stingy widower with a weakness for overindulging in the local Moonraker Public House, he exploits his three daughters as cheap labour. When he declares that ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  David Lean
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  John Mills  •  Brenda De Banzie  •  Daphne Anderson

Island of Lost Souls (1932)

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Erle C. Kenton
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Richard Arlen  •  Leila Hyams  •  Bela Lugosi

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Erle C. Kenton
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Richard Arlen  •  Leila Hyams  •  Bela Lugosi

Jamaica Inn (1939)

In coastal Cornwall, England, during the early 19th Century, a young woman discovers that she's living with a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecking for profit.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alfred Hitchcock
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Horace Hodges  •  Hay Petrie  •  Frederick Piper

In coastal Cornwall, England, during the early 19th Century, a young woman discovers that she's living with a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecking for profit.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alfred Hitchcock
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Horace Hodges  •  Hay Petrie  •  Frederick Piper

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

ClassicAdventurousEpicDramatic

Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless Captain Bligh on the HMS Bounty. However, Bligh returns one year later, hell bent on avenging his captors.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Frank Lloyd
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Clark Gable  •  Franchot Tone  •  Herbert Mundin

Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless Captain Bligh on the HMS Bounty. However, Bligh returns one year later, hell bent on avenging his captors.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Frank Lloyd
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Clark Gable  •  Franchot Tone  •  Herbert Mundin

Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)

In this comedy of an Englishman stranded in a sea of barbaric Americans, Marmaduke Ruggles, a gentleman's gentleman and butler to an Earl is lost in a poker game to an uncouth American cattle baron. Ruggles's life is turned upside down as he's taken to the USA, is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Leo McCarey
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Mary Boland  •  Charles Ruggles  •  Zasu Pitts

In this comedy of an Englishman stranded in a sea of barbaric Americans, Marmaduke Ruggles, a gentleman's gentleman and butler to an Earl is lost in a poker game to an uncouth American cattle baron. Ruggles's life is turned upside down as he's taken to the USA, is ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Leo McCarey
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Mary Boland  •  Charles Ruggles  •  Zasu Pitts

Spartacus (1960)

EpicViolentPowerfulInspiring

The rebellious Thracian Spartacus, born and raised a slave, is sold to Gladiator trainer Batiatus. After weeks of being trained to kill for the arena, Spartacus turns on his owners and leads the other slaves in rebellion. As the rebels move from town to town, their ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stanley Kubrick
CAST:  Kirk Douglas  •  Laurence Olivier  •  Jean Simmons  •  Charles Laughton

The rebellious Thracian Spartacus, born and raised a slave, is sold to Gladiator trainer Batiatus. After weeks of being trained to kill for the arena, Spartacus turns on his owners and leads the other slaves in rebellion. As the rebels move from town to town, their ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Stanley Kubrick
CAST:  Kirk Douglas  •  Laurence Olivier  •  Jean Simmons  •  Charles Laughton

Tales of Manhattan (1942)

Ten screenwriters collaborated on this series of tales concerning the effect a tailcoat cursed by its tailor has on those who wear it. The video release features a W.C. Fields segment not included in the original theatrical release.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Julien Duvivier
CAST:  Charles Boyer  •  Rita Hayworth  •  Ginger Rogers  •  Henry Fonda

Ten screenwriters collaborated on this series of tales concerning the effect a tailcoat cursed by its tailor has on those who wear it. The video release features a W.C. Fields segment not included in the original theatrical release.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Julien Duvivier
CAST:  Charles Boyer  •  Rita Hayworth  •  Ginger Rogers  •  Henry Fonda

The Big Clock (1948)

Stroud, a crime magazine's crusading editor has to post-pone a vacation with his wife, again, when a glamorous blonde is murdered and he is assigned by his publishing boss Janoth to find the killer. As the investigation proceeds to its conclusion, Stroud must try ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Farrow
CAST:  Ray Milland  •  Charles Laughton  •  Maureen O'Sullivan  •  George Macready

Stroud, a crime magazine's crusading editor has to post-pone a vacation with his wife, again, when a glamorous blonde is murdered and he is assigned by his publishing boss Janoth to find the killer. As the investigation proceeds to its conclusion, Stroud must try ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  John Farrow
CAST:  Ray Milland  •  Charles Laughton  •  Maureen O'Sullivan  •  George Macready

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

Paris, France, 1482. Frollo, Chief Justice of benevolent King Louis XI, gets infatuated by the beauty of Esmeralda, a gypsy young girl. The hunchback Quasimodo, Frollo's protege and bell-ringer of Notre Dame, lives in peace among the bells in the heights of the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Dieterle
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Cedric Hardwicke  •  Thomas Mitchell  •  Maureen O'Hara

Paris, France, 1482. Frollo, Chief Justice of benevolent King Louis XI, gets infatuated by the beauty of Esmeralda, a gypsy young girl. The hunchback Quasimodo, Frollo's protege and bell-ringer of Notre Dame, lives in peace among the bells in the heights of the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Dieterle
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Cedric Hardwicke  •  Thomas Mitchell  •  Maureen O'Hara

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

In the Deep South, a serial-killing preacher hunts two young children who know the whereabouts of a stash of money.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Charles Laughton
CAST:  Robert Mitchum  •  Shelley Winters  •  Lillian Gish  •  James Gleason

In the Deep South, a serial-killing preacher hunts two young children who know the whereabouts of a stash of money.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Charles Laughton
CAST:  Robert Mitchum  •  Shelley Winters  •  Lillian Gish  •  James Gleason

The Old Dark House (1932)

Seeking shelter from a relentless rainstorm and landslides in a remote region of Wales, five travelers are admitted to a large foreboding old house that belongs to the extremely strange Femm family. Sepulchral Horace Femm and his obsessive, inhospitable sister ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  James Whale
CAST:  Boris Karloff  •  Melvyn Douglas  •  Charles Laughton  •  Ernest Thesiger

Seeking shelter from a relentless rainstorm and landslides in a remote region of Wales, five travelers are admitted to a large foreboding old house that belongs to the extremely strange Femm family. Sepulchral Horace Femm and his obsessive, inhospitable sister ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  James Whale
CAST:  Boris Karloff  •  Melvyn Douglas  •  Charles Laughton  •  Ernest Thesiger

The Paradine Case (1947)

The beautiful Mrs. Paradine is accused of poisoning her older, blind husband. She hires married Anthony Keane as her lawyer and when he begins to fall in love with her, she encourages him.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alfred Hitchcock
CAST:  Gregory Peck  •  Ann Todd  •  Charles Laughton  •  Charles Coburn

The beautiful Mrs. Paradine is accused of poisoning her older, blind husband. She hires married Anthony Keane as her lawyer and when he begins to fall in love with her, she encourages him.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alfred Hitchcock
CAST:  Gregory Peck  •  Ann Todd  •  Charles Laughton  •  Charles Coburn

The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933)

Renowned for his excess, King Henry VIII goes through a series of wives during his rule. With Anne Boleyn, his second wife, executed on charges of treason, King Henry weds maid Jane Seymour, but that marriage also ends in tragedy. Not one to be single for long, the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alexander Korda
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Robert Donat  •  Franklin Dyall  •  Miles Mander

Renowned for his excess, King Henry VIII goes through a series of wives during his rule. With Anne Boleyn, his second wife, executed on charges of treason, King Henry weds maid Jane Seymour, but that marriage also ends in tragedy. Not one to be single for long, the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Alexander Korda
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Robert Donat  •  Franklin Dyall  •  Miles Mander

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

When Leonard Vole is arrested for the sensational murder of a rich, middle-aged widow, the famous Sir Wilfrid Robarts agrees to appear on his behalf. Sir Wilfrid, recovering from a near-fatal heart attack, is supposed to be on a diet of bland, civil suits—but the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Billy Wilder
CAST:  Tyrone Power  •  Marlene Dietrich  •  Charles Laughton  •  Elsa Lanchester

When Leonard Vole is arrested for the sensational murder of a rich, middle-aged widow, the famous Sir Wilfrid Robarts agrees to appear on his behalf. Sir Wilfrid, recovering from a near-fatal heart attack, is supposed to be on a diet of bland, civil suits—but the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Billy Wilder
CAST:  Tyrone Power  •  Marlene Dietrich  •  Charles Laughton  •  Elsa Lanchester

Les Misérables (1935)

In early nineteenth-century France Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who failed to report to parole, is relentlessly pursued over a twenty-year period by Javert, an obsessive policeman.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Richard Boleslawski
CAST:  Fredric March  •  Charles Laughton  •  Cedric Hardwicke  •  Rochelle Hudson

In early nineteenth-century France Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who failed to report to parole, is relentlessly pursued over a twenty-year period by Javert, an obsessive policeman.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Richard Boleslawski
CAST:  Fredric March  •  Charles Laughton  •  Cedric Hardwicke  •  Rochelle Hudson

The Blue Veil (1951)

A World War I widow loses her only child and spends the rest of her life as a children's nurse.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Curtis Bernhardt  •  Busby Berkeley
CAST:  Jane Wyman  •  Charles Laughton  •  Joan Blondell  •  Richard Carlson

A World War I widow loses her only child and spends the rest of her life as a children's nurse.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Curtis Bernhardt  •  Busby Berkeley
CAST:  Jane Wyman  •  Charles Laughton  •  Joan Blondell  •  Richard Carlson

Young Bess (1953)

The mother died under the executioner's axe; the daughter rose to become England's greatest monarch -- the brilliant and cunning Queen Elizabeth I. Jean Simmons portrays young Bess in this rich tapestry of a film that traces the tumultuous, danger-fraught years ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  George Sidney
CAST:  Jean Simmons  •  Stewart Granger  •  Deborah Kerr  •  Charles Laughton

The mother died under the executioner's axe; the daughter rose to become England's greatest monarch -- the brilliant and cunning Queen Elizabeth I. Jean Simmons portrays young Bess in this rich tapestry of a film that traces the tumultuous, danger-fraught years ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  George Sidney
CAST:  Jean Simmons  •  Stewart Granger  •  Deborah Kerr  •  Charles Laughton

Piccadilly (1929)

A young Chinese woman, working in the kitchen at a London dance club, is given the chance to become the club's main act.  (more)

DIRECTION:  E.A. Dupont
CAST:  Anna May Wong  •  Gilda Gray  •  Jameson Thomas  •  Charles Laughton

A young Chinese woman, working in the kitchen at a London dance club, is given the chance to become the club's main act.  (more)

DIRECTION:  E.A. Dupont
CAST:  Anna May Wong  •  Gilda Gray  •  Jameson Thomas  •  Charles Laughton
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