The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

THE UNKNOWN (1927) ****

Director Tod (Dracula) Browning directed Lon Chaney in this his best movie. It’s a truly wonderful, disturbing and fascinating film that would make a great double feature with his better known Freaks. Chaney is an armless knife thrower in a traveling gypsy circus who is in love with Joan Crawford, who cannot bear being touched by a man. Naturally, they make a great pair, but the strongman (Norman Keery) loves her too and is always pawing her. “Men’s hands! How I hate them!” When it is revealed that Chaney DOES have arms (and two thumbs on each hand), it leads to murder, and unsettling (but almost rational) sacrifice, and one of the most amazing, unsettling and heartbreaking endings you’ve ever seen. (I wouldn’t dream of giving it away.) Once you’ve seen this film, and Chaney’s performance you’ll never forget it. This was only Crawford’s second feature.
Tags: drama, silent, u
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