MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 25 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 4,648 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

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 31 May 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 12 Mar 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 09 Sep 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 9 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 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
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
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
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
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 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
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
The Penalty (1920)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A deformed criminal mastermind plans to loot the city of San Francisco as well as revenge himself on the doctor who mistakenly amputated his legs.

Director: Wallace Worsley
Stars: Charles Clary, Doris Pawn, Jim Mason
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A bitter clown endeavors to rescue the young woman he loves from the lecherous count who once betrayed him.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

"Talkie" remake of Tod Browning's 1925 silent film. A trio of former sideshow performers double as the "Unholy Three" in a scam to nab some shiny rocks.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Lon Chaney, Lila Lee, Elliott Nugent
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


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

Joan Crawford always considered The Unknown (1927) a big turning point for her. She said it wasn't until working with Lon Chaney in this film that she learned the difference between standing in front of a camera and acting in front of a camera. She said that was all due to Lon Chaney and his intense concentration, and after that experience she said she worked much harder to become a better actress. 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

Spoofed in Cemetery Man (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Very Weird Movie
13 April 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

"The Unknown" has to have one of the strangest plots of any movie I've seen, but I can't describe it without spoiling it. Suffice to say; coming from the mind of Tod Browning who set the story in a traveling carnival, you know it's going to be delving into some heavy weirdness.

"The Unknown" is a silent film starring Lon Chaney, Sr., as carnival star Alonzo the Armless, an expert with gun and knife, who, because of his condition, must use his feet instead of hands. His assistant and unrequited love interest is Nanon, played by a very young and beautiful Joan Crawford. There's a love triangle between these two and the carnival strong man, and oh, what Alonzo won't do to win his ladylove.

My only regret is that I saw the 49-minute version taped off of Turner Classic Movies, and the movie does go by quickly. Short as it is though, it's a weird and entertaining trip.


15 of 20 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:
?