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  Joan Crawford and Lon Chaney.
Photograph: Silent Era image collection.
The Unknown
Also known as Garras humanas in Spain
(1927) United States of America
B&W : Six reels / 5517 feet
Directed by Tod Browning

Cast: Lon Chaney [Alonzo], Joan Crawford [Nanon], Norman Kerry [Malabar], Nick de Ruiz [Zanzi], John George [Cojo], Frank Lanning [Costra], John St. Polis [the doctor], Billy Seay [a waif], Louise Emmons [a gypsy woman], Paul Dismute [Chaney’s armless double]

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation production; distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corporation. / Scenario by Waldemar Young, from a screen story by Tod Browning. Production design by Cedric Gibbons and Richard Day. Costume design by Lucia Coulter. Cinematography by Merritt B. Gerstad. Film editors, Harry Reynolds and Errol Taggart. Intertitles written by Joseph W. Farnham. Presented by Louis B. Mayer. / © 27 June 1927 (at seven reels) by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation [LP24123]. Released 4 June 1927. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.33:1 format. / Working title: Alonzo, the Armless. Principal photography was taken from 7 February through 19 March 1927. Polly Moran’s appearance as a lady’s lady and Bobbie Mack’s appearance as a gypsy were cut from the film before release. / Silent film.


Synopsis: Synopsis available in AFI-F2 n. F2.5970.

Survival status: Prints exist in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film library [35mm restoration negative and positive]; and in the George Eastman Museum film archive [35mm positive].

Current rights holder: Public domain [USA].

Keywords: Amputees - Animals: Horses - Circuses: Circus performers - Deformities - Freaks - Gypsies - Medical: Surgeons - Stages - Theaters - Tobacco: Cigarettes - Weapons: Knives

Listing updated: 6 March 2011.

References: Film viewing : AFI-F2 n. F2.5970; Eames-MGM p. 39; Everson-American pp. 62, 221; Fell-History p. 86; Lahue-Gentlemen p. 49; Limbacher-Feature p. 263; Marrero-Vintage p. 22; Quirk-Crawford pp. 15, 48; Skal-Browning p. 296; Sweeney-Coming p. 109; Weaver-Twenty p. 77 : ClasIm-221 p. 14 : Website-GEM.

Home video: UltraHD, Blu-ray Disc, DVD.

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