When Roger Balfour is found shot dead in his London home, his death is declared a suicide by Inspector Burke of Scotland Yard, even though the executor of Balfour's estate, Sir James Hamlin, insists his friend never would have taken his own life. Five years later, the abandoned Balfour house comes to life again with the arrival of two sinister-looking tenants: a fiendish-looking man with pointed teeth, bulging eyes and a tall beaver hat, and a pale young woman in a long gown. The presence of the strangers prompts Sir James, who lives next door, to call in Inspector Burke again. Also living in the Hamlin household are the other people who were also present in Balfour's house the night he died: Sir James' nephew, Arthur Hibbs; the late Balfour's now-grown daughter, Lucille; and Williams, the butler. Burke expresses skepticism about Sir James' suspicions that the new neighbors might have been involved in Balfour's death, until strange things start happening: Balfour's body disappears ... Written by
Eugene Kim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To those who think that Chaney was just an OK actor, sadly have no clue what they are talking about. To make a statement such as he let his makeup do his acting also do not know that one of his most famous roles as the drill Sergeant in "Tell It To The Marines".The role earned him a honorary status among the Corp. So not only was Chaney a master of make-up, earning him the title of a man of a thousand faces, but also that of an exceptional actor with a range of emotions that could flash across his face that would later inspire the likes of Burt Lancaster to state "one of the most compelling and emotionally exhausting scenes I have ever seen an actor do." Lancaster was referring to the scene from "the Unknown" in which Chaney portrayed an armless knife thrower in love with a young Joan Crawford.
To say make up was his "gimmick",is ignorant at best, it was more of an extension of the man and the actor. For Chaney didn't limit himself to just one area, physically he performed acts that would later bring him a place in film history such as the con artist that fakes being crippled to be healed by a charlatan in the "Miracle Man." The scene had people swearing that Chaney was a contortionist or double jointed, when in fact it is more a credit to his acting skills. Also in the "Penalty", he actually had a harness that he wore to bind his legs behind him and tucked into leather stubs. The pain allowed him only to wear the harness for fifteen minutes at a shoot, but Chaney insisted no trick photography be used. In "The Unknown", he had his arms bound up in a harness as well, you only have to watch the film to see not only the weird twist the movie takes, but also Chaney's cleverness.
Lon Chaney died at the age of 47. It is ironic that his last movie was a "talkie", a remake of the silent classic "The Unholy Three" in which he did more than one voice. That of an old woman, a parrot and a ventriloquist. He proved to audiences that he was more than capable of transcending silent to sound.
At his death production was stopped at Hollywood to observe a moment of silence, the Marine Corp flew their flag at half staff. Wallace Berry flew over his funeral and dropped wreaths of flowers. He said, "Lon Chaney was the one man I knew who could walk with kings and not lose the common touch."
10 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?