Lon Chaney

  • Robert Thornby – The Trap (1922)

    1921-1930DramaRobert ThornbySilentUSA

    The Trap is a grand story of romance and betrayal that includes the first starring role of the legendary “Man of a Thousand Faces” Lon Chaney. Chaney plays Gaspard, a French-Canadian trapper whose beloved Thalie (Dagmar Godowsky) throws him over for Benson (Alan Hale), the scoundrel who tricked Gaspard out of a mine claim. Gaspard nurses his resentments over a decade, and traps a half-starved wolf as his agent of vengeance. Shot against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Yosemite National Park, The Trap is a wildly entertaining melodrama.Read More »

  • Jack Conway – The Unholy Three (1930)

    1921-1930CrimeDramaJack ConwayUSA

    In his last film – and only Talkie – Lon Chaney recreates one of his famed Silent roles: the scheming ventriloquist Prof. Echo. Disguised as Grandma O’Grady, Echo heads a robbery ring that includes a feeble-minded strongman and a cigar-chomping little person, the latter masquerading as Grandma’s grandbaby. Known as the Man of a Thousand Faces, Chaney here displays a different kind of virtuosity as well, creating five different voices to portray Echo, Grandma, a parrot, a girl and Echo’s dummy. A big hit directed by Jack Conway, The Unholy Three promised to launch Chaney as a major Sound Era star. He was slated to play the title role in Tod Browning’s Dracula, but it was not to be. Chaney died only weeks after The Unholy Three premiered.Read More »

  • Tod Browning – The Blackbird (1926)

    1921-1930CrimeSilentTod BrowningUSA

    Two thieves, the Blackbird and West End Bertie, fall in love with the same girl, a French nightclub performer named Fifi. Each man tries to outdo the other to win her heart.Read More »

  • Various – The Phantom of the Opera (1925)


    At the Opera of Paris, a mysterious phantom threatens a famous lyric singer, Carlotta and thus forces her to give up her role (Marguerite in Faust) for unknown Christine Daae. Christine meets this phantom (a masked man) in the catacombs, where he lives. What’s his goal? What’s his secret?Read More »

  • Tod Browning – West of Zanzibar (1928)

    1921-1930AdventureSilentTod BrowningUSA

    For 18 years Phroso, known as Dead Legs by his cronies, plots his revenge, becoming a pseudo-king in East Africa, nearby where Crane has set up an ivory business. When the daughter is grown, having lived in a brothel in Zanzibar thanks to Dead Legs, Phroso put his plan into action, resulting in revenge and retribution all around.Read More »

  • Tod Browning – The Unholy Three (1925)

    1921-1930CrimeSilentTod BrowningUSA

    Lon Chaney — the Man of a Thousand Faces — used his makeup skills, astonishing physicality and profound empathy to create Quasimodo, the Phantom of the Opera and more of the Silent Era’s greatest horror roles. In this hypnotic mix of creepiness and crime, he plays a ventriloquist who dons a granny disguise to team with a strongman and a little person in a bizarre robbery scheme that ends in murder. The film marks an even more fateful alliance than that of the Unholy Three: the collaboration between Chaney and director Tod Browning, who would helm seven more Chaney movies before making Sound Era horror history with Dracula and Freaks.Read More »

  • Tod Browning – The Unknown (1927)

    1921-1930HorrorSilentTod BrowningUSA

    A criminal on the run hides in a circus and seeks to possess the daughter of the ringmaster at any cost.Read More »

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