The Unknown (1927) by Tod Browning

Sunday, November 27, 1988, 7:00 pm

The Macabre Vision of Tod Browning


800 Chestnut Street

San Francisco, CA, 94133

Tod Browning is best known for the perversely moving Freaks and atmospheric Dracula, but it was in his ten earlier silent films with Lon Chaney that Browning’s uniquely dark imagination found fullest expression. Responding to Chaney’s talent for bodily contortion and soulful intensity, Browning fashioned a gallery of rogues and freakish characters unparalleled in the cinema. Tonight we will see three of the finest: The Unknown (1927), in which Chaney plays an armless circus performer; The Blackbird (1926), a Jekyll and Hyde-like fable of a deformed priest and his evil brother; and West of Zanzibar (1928) about a sadistic magician living in the deep recesses of an African jungle.