He Who Gets Slapped (1924): Victor Sjöström’s Lavishly Produced Silent, Starring Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert

Victor Sjöström directed He Who Gets Slapped, a silent psychological thriller starring Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer, and John Gilbert.

The film is based on the 1914 Russian play “He Who Gets Slapped,” published in English in 1922.

He Who Gets Slapped was the first film produced entirely by the newly formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was not, however, MGM’s first released movie, as the film was held until the Christmas season.

The movie was highly profitable for the fledgling MGM, and was critically hailed upon release. It was also the first film to feature Leo the Lion as the mascot for MGM. Previously, Leo appeared in the logo for Goldwyn Pictures Corporation in 1916, and the trademark was retained by MGM when the companies merged.


Critical Status:

In 2017, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”


TCM showed the movie April 29, 2020.