Blizzard, deranged from a childhood operation in which both his legs were perhaps needlessly amputated after an accident, becomes a vicious criminal, and eventually mob leader of the San Francisco underworld. Out for revenge against the surgeon who performed his operation, he undergoes brain surgery which has a chance of altering his anti-social behavior.Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
In Blizzard's vision of the future sack of San Francisco, he is seen giving orders to his henchmen standing on his restored legs. See more »
I could get him for theft, arson, murder - - but his criminal machine would still grind on. Through the Master I must reach his slaves - the underground powers of the Reds. He's gathered up his dance hall girls and he's put them to work in his house - making hats - thousands of hats. I must know why!
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There is no cast list, but the 8 main actors and their character names are credited in the inter-titles as each appear in the film. See more »
In 2004, Turner Classic Movies exhibited a version on television with a music score, but no details were given. It ran 90 minutes. See more »
A master criminal pays THE PENALTY for a life full of evil.
Lon Chaney became a major movie star with his role in this shocker. Already regarded as a fine actor for his performances in lesser films, he now proved he was quite willing to go far beyond mere makeup for the enhancement of his screen persona. His dedication to his craft, coupled with an outsized talent, were to make Chaney one of the foremost film actors of the 1920's.
Here Chaney plays a legless mobster who plots terrible revenge upon the doctor who maimed him (his plan to sack San Francisco of its wealth is almost incidental.) In order to create the illusion of being a paraplegic, Chaney bound his legs back and encased them in stumps. He is able to hop about with great alacrity using crutches, but he suffered intense pain during the filming and could only abide the prosthetics for short periods of time.
As remarkable as what he's able to achieve on his knees might be, it is the face of Chaney which is equally memorable here. The fact that he's able to model for a bust of Satan as part of the plot is no accident. His features take on the visage of pure unadulterated evil. The blood chills to look at him. Chaney the Actor has wordlessly spoken.
The film itself is a pleasantly florid potboiler, with plenty of menace, mayhem and damsels in distress. But it is Chaney who lingers longest in memory's darkest recess...
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