The Unknown

Director: Tod Browning
Year Released: 1927
Rating: 3.0

I'm starting to absolutely love silent films - where, in the past, I've been dismissive because "I can't understand what's going on," they've since grown on me, and I'm quickly becoming a fan. Tod Browning, who made some very unsettling and well-crafted pictures, presents another tale of circus performers, with the story centering on Lon Chaney as a man with no arms and his passion for Joan Crawford, who has a phobia (Freudian, obviously) of being touched by a man. When you think it can't get any stranger, it does; the ending, for one, is so out there I could hardly believe it. As with some of the other classics, it gets goofy a little too often, but there's no denying its true perversity. Major bonus points go to the score, which is an infinite number of notches above standard silent music.