Film 226 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1927’s “The Unknown”. Based on an event that occurred during Tod Browning’s time working in a circus, this Tod Browning silent horror is about an armless carnival knife thrower, Alonzo (Lon Chaney) hoping to marry a carnival girl, Nanon (Joan Crawford). This was interesting to watch when it started and then it started to fall off a cliff towards the end. Why is the Muscle Man forcing himself on Nanon to make her marry him (which works in the end)? Why does Alonzo hide his secret from everyone except for his helper, Cojo, and the doctor? I really can’t think of anything to talk about. Nothing really stood out. It felt like watching a watered down version of “Freaks”, a film that I have already reviewed for this challenged and liked very much. Overall, this is ok to watch but nothing special. I do recommend watching “Freaks”. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1927’s “The Unknown”
Year – 1927
Director – Tod Browning
Written by – Tod Browning, Waldemar Young
Staring – Lon Chaney, Norman Kelly, Joan Crawford
IMDb Rating – 7.9/10
My Rating – 4/10
Length – 50 min
Genre – Drama, Horror, Romance
This opening music is a bit dramatic
Welcome to Madrid, Spain
It’s Antonio’s circus
And here’s Alonzo the Arlmess about to shoot at Nanon and throw knifes at her
THAT’S A FAKE WEIGHT!
“Strength and muscles don’t impress women”
The muscle man really loves Nanon… but so does Alonzo
They clearly taped Lon Chaney’s arms to his sides
Rule to all men trying to attract women – Never force yourself on them
Nanon hates men’s hands
“Men! The beasts! God would show wisdom if he took the hands from all of them”
Oh hey Alonzo. You didn’t hear what I just said did you?
This feels like the 1920’s version of Jersey Shore set in a circus
Alonzo just gave Nanon a scarf as a gift
This upsets someone who is friends with the muscle man
COME ON!!! He’s beating up Alonzo!
Here comes the muscle man to save the day
Wait? You only saved me so you can shag Nanon? I like your style
Again I’m adding dialogue
I didn’t know your blood could sing
Muscle Man confronts Nanon and confesses his love for her
Again he’s forcing himself on Nanon
Is Alonzo wearing a corset?
I FUCKING KNEW IT!!!! ALONZO’S ARMS DO WORK!!!!
Lets not tell anyone about this secret
Antonio confronts Alonzo and reveals that his arms work in front of Nanon’s trailer
Wait…. Antonio’s died?
Wait… Are the police accusing Alonzo of robbery? He has no arms!
Lets speed things up
Muscle man wants to have sex with Nanon while Alonzo watches
That didn’t work out
Nanon just kissed Alonzo and left
Muscle Man tries his luck again with Nanon in a more private area
Alonzo and Cojo talk in their trailer
Wait… Alonzo has two thumbs on one hand??!?
Even with his arms untied he still uses his feet to light up a cigarette
Alonzo and Cojo visit a doctor about Alonzo’s thumbs
Meanwhile, Nanon and Muscle Man seem to be in love and have fun while on a walk
There is one rule thought – HANDS OFF NANON
Alonzo has had his thumb removed and a few weeks later visits Nanon
Cojo? Who’s Cojo? I don’t like him anymore
Nanon still wants to marry Alonzo despite hanging with Muscle Man
Speaking of Muscle Man, he arrives and tells Alonzo that he and Nanon are getting married
Oh.. and she now likes hands
So… Nanon is cheating on Alonzo?!
While watching a horse on a treadmill, Muscle Man plans on having the horse remove his arms
Muscle Man’s new stunt is to hold two horses in place while they run on treadmills
Alonzo then makes the treadmills stop causing the horses to go crazy
ALONZO HAS A KNIFE!!
And he’s just been killed by a horse