MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 6,250 this week

The Unknown (1927)

 -  Drama | Horror | Romance  -  4 June 1927 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 4,636 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 38 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(story), (scenario), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 23 Jan 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 31 May 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 21 Nov 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Unknown" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Unknown (1927)

The Unknown (1927) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Unknown.
2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A professional clown and a self-indulgent count learn to help each other with their problems, but then become romantic rivals.

Director: Herbert Brenon
Stars: Lon Chaney, Bernard Siegel, Loretta Young
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A sideshow ventriloquist, midget, and strongman form a conspiracy known as "The Unholy Three" and commit a series of robberies.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Mae Busch, Matt Moore
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A magician seeks vengeance upon the man who paralyzed him and the illegitimate daughter he sired with the magician's wife.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Lionel Barrymore, Mary Nolan
The Blackbird (1926)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Owen Moore, Renée Adorée
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Directors: Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When an animal trapper in Indo-China finds that his daughter's fiancé is being successfully seduced by her estranged mother, he takes appropriate action.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Lupe Velez, Estelle Taylor
Certificate: Passed Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An escaped Devil's Island convict uses miniaturized humans to wreak vengeance on those that framed him.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O'Sullivan, Frank Lawton
Freaks (1932)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A romantic rivalry among members of a secret society becomes even tenser when one of the men is assigned to carry out an assassination.

Director: Wallace Worsley
Stars: Lon Chaney, Leatrice Joy, John Bowers
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.

Director: Wallace Worsley
Stars: Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry
Certificate: Passed Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Priscilla Dean, Wheeler Oakman, Lon Chaney
The Big City (1928)
Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, James Murray
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Alonzo
Norman Kerry ...
Malabar
...
Nanon
Nick De Ruiz ...
Zanzi
John George ...
Frank Lanning ...
Edit

Storyline

Alonzo is an armless knife thrower and gun shooter for a circus---or so he appears. He is actually a burglar with his arms intact. He and his accomplice, Cojo (a little person), are hiding from the police, and Alonzo views his disguise as perfect, especially since it keeps from view an unusual deformity of his left hand that would immediately give him away as the burglar. Nanon, the daughter of the circus owner, is the target in his act. Although Alonzo is in love with her, Nanon's father despises him. Nanon is attracted to Malabar, the circus strong man, but she is also repulsed by his uninhibited sexual advances and desire to touch and hold her. Apparently her phobia extends to the touch of any man. Alonzo feeds her fears in the hopes that Nanon will fall in love with him since he is "armless." Because Zanzi discovers Alonzo really has arms, Alonzo kills him, but Nanon witnesses the killing without seeing Alonzo's face; however, she does see the telltale deformity of his left hand. ... Written by Patrick Robbins <elfdorado@sbcglobal.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | circus | surgery | murderer | surgeon | See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alonzo the Armless  »

Box Office

Budget:

$217,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (BFI print) | (alternate)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

As 'Peter Dismuki' was born armless, he doubled for some shots of Lon Chaney where Dismuki used his feet for smoking or playing a fiddle. See more »

Goofs

During the scene where we fist meet Alonzo and he is throwing knives with his feet, the shot shows the girl against the board and there are no knives. It cuts to Alonzo throwing and when it goes back to the girl to see the impact there are knives in a silhouette around her. See more »

Quotes

Malabar the Mighty, Circus Strongman: You are a riddle, Nanon. You shrink from me... yet you kiss my flowers when I am gone.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in You Know What's Bullshit: DVD's (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Chaney Masterpiece
20 June 2004 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A circus performer ventures into THE UNKNOWN regions of fate when he allows love to be twisted by hatred.

Master actor Lon Chaney and his friend, acclaimed director Tod Browning, took their love of the macabre and fashioned this weirdly entertaining & suspenseful little silent film, made wonderful by Chaney's powerful over-the-top performance. Playing the armless wonder in a gypsy circus, Chaney's face is a casebook of emotions as he longs for the chieftain's daughter. After making a tremendous, indeed, outrageous, sacrifice for her, he discovers it is all an utter waste. Chaney's agony is horribly apparent as he feels his life crumble around him. The actor uses his superb physical conditioning to great effect, his feet as facile as any hands--the extreme punishment undergone to play the part enormously impressive.

In an important early film role, Joan Crawford is both sultry & disarming as the object of Chaney's desires; her intense neurotic phobia concerning men's hands certainly makes her character more interesting. Norman Kerry is affable & tender as the circus strong man who also loves Crawford. John George as Chaney's dwarf accomplice and Nick De Ruiz as the brutal circus chief are quite effective in their colorful roles.

MGM gave the film fine production values, especially in the circus scenes--a milieu dear to Chaney's heart.


29 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Anyone know wher e i can buy this? homeofleia
I saw it on TCM last night... drdebacle
masterpiece masterpiece masterpiece rflock
Cover Art Not Accurate xmaseve49
Discuss The Unknown (1927) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?