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Thunder (1929)



(titles) (as Joe Farnham), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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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
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
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The abandoned home of a wealthy man who supposedly committed suicide five years earlier is taken over by ghoulish figures - could they be vampires?

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall
The Unknown (1927)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Joan Crawford
The Big City (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Rivalry between two gangs of thieves. The sympathetic group reforms: the others are brought to justice.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, James Murray
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After his beloved daughter leaves for the city to pay off his debt, an old farmer goes mad when her letters become less frequent and it is suspected she may be using her body to get the money.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Norma Shearer, Lon Chaney, Ian Keith
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 | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 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 7.3/10 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
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A tough New York cop is determined to bring down a crook who has always managed to provide an alibi for the crimes he's been accused of, even though the detective knows he's guilty of committing them.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Lon Chaney, Anita Page, Carroll Nye


Complete credited cast:
Jim (as George Duryea)
Frances Morris ...
Davey (as Wally Albright Jr.)
John MacIntosh ...
Railroad Man


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

8 July 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chicagon pikajuna n:o 2329  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$352,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


This movie was shot on the Lake Shore Division of the Chicago & North Western Railroad. See more »


Featured in Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Tragic Loss For Silent Cinema
9 August 2016 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

It is my ambition to add as many silent film synopsis of films that have a survival status of unknown or presumed lost. I try to do as much research as I can and it is not my intention to deceive anyone, for sometimes the film does exist. I am more than delighted if someone has knowledge of a film listed as lost but survives, as I wish all silent films did survive. I hope the reader enjoys this brief synopsis.

Twenty-nine minutes late into Chicago, engineer Anderson ( Lon Chaney ), nicknamed Grumpy because of his single-minded devotion to timetables and railroad protocol, plows through heavy snowdrifts to make up lost time. His sons have followed into the railroading business, but they are gradually embittered by his apparent callousness. One of them was worked to exhaustion as the fireman of the Chicago run through the snow but gained sympathy from Zella ( Phyllis Haver ), a nightclub singer whose private car Anderson had refused to tow, forcing her to jump into the cab and ride. His stubborn inflexibility eventually alienates his in-laws, causes the death of one of his sons, and provokes a wreck on the train on which the body was being carried by scuffling with his other son over his culpability for the death. Relegated to the railroad machine shop, he is called to service during the crisis of the Mississippi floods, and he ends up, along with his estranged son, at the throttle of a relief train that blasts through the flooded area on track often submerged as much as 4 feet to save the widow of his son and Zella, who are stranded in the flood area.

"Yesterday afternoon's audience seemed to find THUNDER a good picture, even though it did appear now and then that coincidence was playing a larger part in the railroad than the safety signal system...When the picture gets away from railroad procedure, Mr. Chaney seems admirable. But railroad men the country over will view some of the scenes with a jaundiced eye." ---The New York Times

"Lon Chaney does an exceptionally fine characterization, without the aid of any special makeup aside from slightly greyed hair and moustache...William Nigh's direction was very satisfactory; and the story by Byron Morgan is out of the usual run of railroad melodramas and finely developed." ---Motion Picture News

This 1929 drama was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, starring Lon Chaney, Phyllis Haver, George Duryea and James Murray. It was a silent film, with synchronized music and sound effects. Today, about 5 minutes of footage survives, at Library of Congress, UCLA Film Archives (both have short fragments).

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