A convict hiding in Chinatown assumes the identity of a cripple to track down a businessman who framed him 15 years previously. He discovers that his daughter has fallen in love with the businessman's son.
In this early collaboration with director Tod Browning (Dracula, Freaks), Chaney delivers a dual performance of dramatic intensity, starring as Ah Wing, a kind-hearted student of Confucian ... See full summary »
In the happy French-Canadian village of Grand-Bellaire, simple-minded miner Lon Chaney (as Gaspard) leads an idyllic life. In the spring, he works his mine and plays with children; Mr. Chaney is "filled and thrilled at the joy of being alive, with trust and love for all mankind in his heart." Chaney's radiant life comes to an abrupt halt, however, when greedy Alan Hale (as Benson) steals both his mine and his girl, Dagmar Godowsky (as Thalie).
For seven years, Chaney is consumed with hate; he is lonely, crushed, and beaten. Meanwhile, Mr. Hale and Ms. Godowsky fall on hard times; he is unable to profit in mining, and she becomes terminally ill. The unhappy couple's only success is their cute five-year-old son Stanley Goethals (as "The Boy"). Obsessed with revenge, Chaney gets his chance when he declines to back-up Hale during a barroom incident; and, Hale is sent to prison. After Godowsky dies, Chaney gets custody of "The Kid" (Goethals), whom he plans to abuse
This formulaic film combines themes found in Lon Chaney's own "The Penalty" (1920) with Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid" (1921). It is, understandably, not as good as its film cousins; but, Chaney's great performance and its excellent production values, handled by Robert Thornby (director) and Virgil Miller (photographer), make "The Trap" worth getting into.
******* The Trap (5/9/22) Robert Thornby ~ Lon Chaney, Alan Hale, Stanley Goethals
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