Combustible Celluloid
Search for Posters
Own it:
Search for streaming:
NetflixHuluGoogle PlayGooglePlayCan I
With: Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Joan Crawford, Nick De Ruiz, John George, Frank Lanning
Written by: Tod Browning, Waldemar Young, Joseph Farnham, based, without credit on a novel by Mary Roberts Rinehart
Directed by: Tod Browning
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 49
Date: 06/04/1927

The Unknown (1927)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Farewell to Arms

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The master actor Lon Chaney finally gets a proper DVD tribute with "The Lon Chaney Collection" (1921-28, Warner Home Video, $39.98). It's a spectacular two-disc collection boasting three Chaney features, plus a 2000 documentary about his life directed by Kevin Brownlow and narrated by Kenneth Branagh. The set includes The Ace of Hearts (1921), Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1929) and most notably Tod Browning's astonishing 1927 masterpiece, The Unknown. In the latter film, Chaney plays an armless knife-thrower in a circus. He falls in love with a young Joan Crawford, but she, ironically, can't stand men's hands! To say any more would ruin the film's ungodly storyline and Browning's unflinching rhythms. It includes a punchy, lively score by the Alloy Orchestra. This excellent DVD set also includes commentary tracks by Chaney biographer Michael F. Blake and Rick Schmidlin's 47-minute photo restoration of Chaney and Browning's lost 1927 film London After Midnight.