U.S. Marine Sergeant O'Hara has his hands full training raw recruits, one of whom, 'Skeets' Burns, is a particular thorn in his side. If Burns's lackadaisical approach to the military were ... See full summary »
George W. Hill
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.
Prizefighter Mason loses his opening fight so wife Rose leaves him for Hollywood. Without her around Mason trains and starts winning. Rose comes back and wants Mason to dump his manager Regan and replace him with her secret lover Lewis.
Mike Morgan creates the illusions that magicians use in their shows. While his business is Miracles for Sale, his hobby is exposing fake spiritualists. At the club, he is invited to attend ... See full summary »
By contrast, I was relatively satisfied with THE BLACK BIRD. The plot is somewhat derivative (particularly of THE PENALTY ), but Chaney is in fine form here. The film goes a long way in simulating the Limehouse atmosphere, even where dialogue is concerned (which comes off as fairly hilarious if quite endearing).
The romantic leads, as played by Owen Moore and Renee' Adoree', are above average in this case; in fact, Moore (as a gentleman crook) is more of an anti-hero here and creates an interesting contrast to Chaney, who himself alternates between the villainous 'Black Bird' and the saintly 'Bishop' throughout.
For a Browning/Chaney effort, the film is fairly conventional and comes off as somewhat protracted (particularly the overly contrived ending) when compared to THE UNKNOWN (1927). Chaney's (deceptive) physical deformity of his 'Bishop' character is the sole weird element in evidence and, for once, here we get a chance to observe - on camera - the way Chaney accomplishes this amazing feat!
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