IMDb > The Unknown (1927)
The Unknown
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The Unknown (1927) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   4,830 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Tod Browning (story)
Waldemar Young (scenario)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Unknown on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 June 1927 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A criminal on the run hides in a circus and seeks to possess the daughter of the ringmaster at any cost. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Very Weird Movie See more (93 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lon Chaney ... Alonzo

Norman Kerry ... Malabar

Joan Crawford ... Nanon
Nick De Ruiz ... Zanzi
John George ... Cojo
Frank Lanning ... Costra
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Louise Emmons ... Gypsy Woman (uncredited)
Italia Frandi ... Girl in Audience Flirting with Malabar (uncredited)
Venezia Frandi ... (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
Julian Rivero ... Man in Audience (uncredited)
Billy Seay ... The Little Wolf (uncredited)
John St. Polis ... Surgeon (uncredited)

Directed by
Tod Browning 
 
Writing credits
Tod Browning (story)

Waldemar Young (scenario)

Joseph Farnham (titles) (as Joe Farnham)

Mary Roberts Rinehart  novel "K" (uncredited)

Cinematography by
Merritt B. Gerstad (photography) (as M. Gerstad)
 
Film Editing by
Harry Reynolds (film editor)
Errol Taggart (film editor)
 
Set Decoration by
Richard Day (settings)
Cedric Gibbons (settings)
 
Stunts
Paul Desmuke .... stunt double (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Clarence Sinclair Bull .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lucia Coulter .... wardrobe
 
Music Department
Jack Feinberg .... set musician (uncredited)
Sam Feinberg .... set musician (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
63 min (23 fps) | UK:49 min (BFI print) | USA:49 min (alternate version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Director Tod Browning loosely based the story on a real event of his circus days, where a man has masqueraded as an acrobat to evade the police.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Woman Next Door (1981)See more »

FAQ

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16 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
A Very Weird Movie, 13 April 2003
Author: gbheron from Washington, DC

"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.

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