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February 16, 2009

The Unknown

1927, Dir. by Tod Browning

(OK. I'm in parentheses.

The reason for this is simple. Today's review is of The Unknown, one of the classic collaborations of Director Tod Browning and Star Lon Chaney, Sr. Since it was made in 1927, and movies with sound were a bit of a luxury then, it's a silent film. Thus, I'm putting my review in parentheses, so it'll be silent too. As an homage, of sorts.

The film in question focuses on Mr. Chaney playing Alonzo, an armless knife-thrower (you read that right) in a circus who's madly in love with the daughter of the proprietor (played by a young Joan Crawford). She's sick of the men that put their hands all over her, especially the local strongman who's after her attention too. But there's a catch, because Alonzo's not what he seems. Tragic and ironic hijinks ensue.

Anyway, I can't say anything about this movie that Chaney couldn't have said himself....without talking. "The Man With 1000 Faces" makes this movie a masterpiece with his face....thus I'm gonna let him cover my review too....

Here's what Lon thinks (and you can click to see his closeups). I think it translates to awesomeness.)


Anonymous said...

This is a WONDERFUL movie, Bruce. One of my favorites from Chaney, Sr.

If you can ever find a copy of "He Who Gets Slapped", please let me know...I'm dying to see that one.

Anonymous said...

Chaney's face when he realizes that his "sacrifice" was for nothing was one of my all time favorite scenes ever, Bruce. I love that movie.