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Comments 1 - 14 of 14

Siskoid's avatar


Five years before Freaks, Tod Browning made another traveling circus potboiler in The Unknown, and it's a strange and beautiful little piece of twist-ending irony. A young Joan Crawford plays a woman torn between three men - her demanding father, the strongman who loves her, and an armless knife-thrower played with increasing intensity by Lon Chaney who is obsessed with her. He's great, and I thought wow, did he really have that foot dexterity, but no, someone else is playing his legs, putting cigarettes in his mouth and so on... I'm still impressed by the dedication and trickery. Crawford's Nanon has a phobia about being held, so this armless man is just about the only man she can stand. As it turns out, Chaney's Alonzo isn't so 'armless after all, and it gets really weird from there, a carnival tale of jealousy, murder and mutilation like no other. It's kind of what O. Henry might have written after a particularly lurid nightmare, and a great precursor to Freaks.
3 years 4 months ago
mysteryfan's avatar


Didn't knew Om Puri was doing Hollywood movies in 1920s
4 years 3 months ago
Forzelius's avatar


Chaney=Keith Richards
4 years 6 months ago
nihonjindesuka's avatar


chaney's face and crawford's eyes cast a spell over me
5 years 7 months ago
locovoco's avatar


Did I just see a horse on a treadmill? Yep...it's time...checking into rehab....
7 years 9 months ago
the3rdman's avatar


This was fantastic! Campy but seriously twisted. This is the first Chaney film I've seen and he is really great. He has such an expressive face, perfect for silent cinema. The rest of the cast really hold their own as well, particularly Crawford and John George as Cojo.
10 years ago
Camille Deadpan's avatar

Camille Deadpan

I didn't even recognize Joan Crawford! It seems that make up and hairdo from the 20's can make a person look completely different.

10 years 1 month ago
JoeMorrissy's avatar


A great story, loved this film.
11 years 2 months ago
greenhorg's avatar


&:D--|---< LJBF LOL

:|8O-----< WTF!
11 years 4 months ago
Dieguito's avatar


Good movie
11 years 5 months ago
dopzihon's avatar


12 years 7 months ago
sideburnz's avatar


and the moral of the story is, Love makes you crazy. or crazier, whatever the case may be.
12 years 9 months ago
Pickman's avatar


It takes really vivid imagination to find actual horror in this film, even though the last episode is rather suspenseful. Still, the plot is good, Lon Chaney is brilliant and Joan Crowford is dazzilingy beautiful, so watching The Unknown (where did they get that title?) won't be a waste of time.
13 years 4 months ago
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