#123movies #fmovies #putlocker #gomovies #solarmovie #soap2day Watch Full Movie Online Free – Alonzo is an armless knife thrower and gun shooter for a circus—or so he appears. He is actually a criminal with his arms intact. He and his accomplice, Cojo (a little person), are hiding from the police. 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 criminal the police are searching for. Nanon, the daughter of Zanzi, the circus owner, is the target in his act. Although Alonzo is in love with her, Nanon’s father despises him. Malabar, the circus strong man, is attracted to Nanon but she is repulsed by his uninhibited sexual advances and desire to touch and hold her. Her phobia extends to the touch of any man’s hand. 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. As Alonzo continues to plot to steal Nanon away from Mirabar, Cojo makes him realize that she will hate him once she discovers he has arms—and the deformity showing that he is her father’s murderer. Alonzo decides to have both his arms amputated, which he succeeds in doing through blackmailing a surgeon. While Alonzo is away recuperating from the surgery, Nanon gets over her fear of being touched and falls completely in love with Mirabar. Discovering this upon his return, Alonzo hatches a scheme to kill Mirabar as he attempts his latest, most dangerous stunt.
Plot: A criminal on the run hides in a circus and seeks to possess the daughter of the ringmaster at any cost.
Smart Tags: #aphephobia #knife_thrower #unrequited_love #muscleman #armless_man #circus_performer #murder #love #police #horse #1920s #bare_chested_male #romantic_rivalry #unethical_doctor #knife_throwing #obsessive_love #amputation #circus_train #deception #arm_amputation #blackmail
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Creepy, unsettling masterpiece!
I’ve heard so much about this movie, and it was not a disappointment. The surviving print seems to be missing some scenes, which accounts for its short length, but I doubt it takes away much from this twisted, sadistic “Gift of the Magi” gone bad. Chaney’s performance is remarkable and, at times, genuinely alarming, and the very young Joan Crawford is a typical, but nevertheless appealing silent film heroine. Parts of this film really had me squirming, particularly towards the end. Browning’s visual sense is the most beautiful I’ve seen in any of his films other than Dracula, with a full range of greys, whites and blacks and painterly compositions. It’s available on TCM’s excellent Lon Chaney Collection DVD.
Deceiving by Telling the Truth
The circus knife thrower Alonzo the Armless of “The Unknown” is one of, if not the, greatest surviving performances from Lon Chaney. I prefer his films such as this or “The Unholy Three” films (1925 and remade in 1930) that are, in addition to vehicles for the actor’s mastery of make-up and physical transformation, reflexively about the deception thereof. Another carnival setting from director Tod Browning, who came from a circus background himself, adds another layer to the reflexive deception of fictional performance bleeding into real life–Alonzo carrying on the charade in the backstage love triangle. It plays on Chaney’s star image as “The Man of a Thousand Faces”–that he’s expected to alter his appearance. By letting the spectator in on the trick early, we join in the conning of the other characters, but where “The Unknown” goes beyond other such Chaney-Browning titles is that it doubles back to exclude us from the armless deception–all the while misdirecting attention from the biggest trick in the entire film, that those aren’t Chaney’s feet.
It’s a testament to his reputation that some believed that Chaney actually learned how to light and smoke a cigarette with his feet or to, at least, look as though he could throw knives with them. To this day, some are deceived; for one, Hugh S. Manon, author of the excellent essay “Seeing Through Seeing Through: The Trompe l’Oeil Effect and Bodily Difference in the Cinema of Tod Browning,” admits being fooled. The only subtle suggestion on screen that Chaney is never armless nor learned to do tricks or routine tasks with his feet instead of his hands is by contrast through the frequent casting by Browning, as he’d done from “The Unholy Three” to “Freaks” (1932), of actors with actual physical deformities. The actor we see, John George, plays Alonzo’s dwarf sidekick, Cojo. The one we don’t–other than his feet–is Paul Desmuke, who really was armless and a circus knife thrower. Indeed, the trick is quite amazing considering that the 1927 film’s opening shots of Chaney and Joan Crawford spinning while performing the knife-tossing act is obviously a composite shot and one that is edited around the knives being thrown and of them landing around Crawford.
Chaney is not only an actor playing a character that is a performer, as well, but also a performer that continues to act off stage–a backstage play within that of the circus within that of the film. Plus, we may readily see his expressive face unencumbered by copious cosmetics or the masks of his more famous roles in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1923) and “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925). The reliance on close-ups in “The Unknown,” in particular, go a long way. Although Alonzo fakes being absent arms, with the actor, too, concealing them for most of the runtime, the armless double Desmuke providing the legwork, and those facial close-ups, Chaney is in effect variously without parts of his body throughout the film. It all puts the lie to the indexicality of photography. To top it off, Alonzo’s deception is to conceal the trace, the mark of his guilt–his doubled thumb.
Speaking of enjoying fiction at the most basic level is often framed as the so-called “suspension of disbelief.” Intellectually, we know that films are indexical–doubles, representations removed from and concealing their staging. I wasn’t watching Chaney, let alone Alonzo, in the flesh the other night; he’s been dead for 90 years. Supposedly, we pretend, however, so as to be distracted by characters and stories. Films such as “The Unknown” throw that fluff out the window and confront the illusion, to revel in the act of deceiving and, for the spectator, being deceived. There are Alfonso’s nominal crimes in the story, but the real one is that his duplicity calls attention to the entire artifice. For the spectator, he’s the only honest character in the film and, yet, he’s still a lie.
This not only underlies the picture’s dramatic irony, but also some of the most gruesome situational irony ever put on screen involving what lengths–and essentially his castration–Alonzo will go to in his armless narrative so as to win the girl (Crawford), who hates the groping hands of men, from the strongman who puts his own limbs at risk in his new act. With the surviving print in circulation today being only 50 minutes, “The Unknown” is an exceptionally taut picture, as well. Probably due to some missing footage, it’s choppy during some early scenes. Yet, time is taken to register the dramatic changes in emotions across Chaney’s face–later, for the love triangle, but also from the start with the twirling shots of his falling in love with Crawford as he tosses knives around her and to undress her body. The oft told story of the film’s rediscovery is a whole other twist, too, of being formerly lost among cannisters of unidentified nitrate marked “unknown.” Oh, the irony.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 3 min (63 min) (23 fps), 49 min (BFI print) (UK), 49 min (DVD)
Genre Drama, Horror, Romance
Director Tod Browning
Writer Tod Browning, Waldemar Young, Joseph Farnham
Actors Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Joan Crawford
Country United States
Awards 1 win & 2 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Silent
Aspect Ratio 1.33 : 1
Film Length 1,645 m (6 reels) (UK), 1,681.6 m (7 reels) (USA)
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm