#34 The Unknown (1927)

Okay, so this is a story that definitely stands out from the rest that we’ve seen so far. Tod Browning’s The Unknown is so out there and nothing like anything you’ve ever heard of before. So basically there’s a circus starring a knife thrower who pretends to have no arms because he’s a fugitive on the run and could be caught because he has two thumbs on one hand, all while pining for the circus owner’s daughter.


Disturbing, isn’t it? The Man of Many Faces, a.k.a Lon Chaney, a.k.a The Phantom, is back this time as the no-armed knife thrower. The many personal and physical traits that Chaney brings to his characters is astounding. Having to really use his feet and legs for all of the tricks he does. I love the expressions that Chaney makes whether he’s diabolical, laughing, or crying. This man can do it all. This story really is so horrifying and very disturbing at times. I like the irony that comes in the twists and turns this story does. It’s like watching one of those short horror stories come to life. Do you get disturbed easily?


So if you love disturbing horror films that takes risks in its storytelling with a brilliant actor to keep you entertained, this is the film for you.

Watch this brilliant horror film and let me know what you think of it:


3 thoughts on “#34 The Unknown (1927)

  1. Pingback: #69 Freaks (1932) – 1001 Films in 365 Days

  2. martin fennell

    Hi. Thank you for uploading this.
    The first thing I wondered about was the running time. I wondered if it was that short.
    So I googled the running time, and it came up as 3 hrs i minute.
    Thinking that was weird, I checked the running time on my digital version of the 10001 movie book.
    That says around a hour. So I’m wondering if there are bits missing. Well, yes, there are sequences where he kills the doctor and cojo.
    The first thing I noticed was the score, which I didn’t like. It was just too busy for me.
    Was that the original score. The only part that worked for me was when Chaney visits
    I found the dialogue rather artificial.
    I guess Chaney’s physical acting was so good, that i didn’t think about it, while watching the movie. I like small little details, so I really liked the bit where he rubs his arms to get feeling back in them after getting out of the strait jacket.
    Maybe I’m just saying this, because I’m aware that Joan Crawford had her biggest sucess in the talkies. But did her acting seem more modern that Chaney’s.
    overall, though a very good movie


    1. I appreciate your review. And the video I posted is the running time- 50 mins. There are no parts missing. As for the quality, remember this is a film from the 1920s. They used the best with what they had.


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