Welp, it's time to pay a little visit with Mister Monster himself in a wild and crazy silent movie directed by Tod Browning, who doesn't do anything that isn't complicated. It also stars 22 year old Joan Crawford as the love interest.
I got this copy off TCM, it looks like they redid the title and dialogue cards as the best print available isn't that great, they look too modern to me though.
Lon Chaney is showman Alonzo The Armless, knife throwing ace for the circus.
After using a pistol with his feet to shoot beautiful Nanon's dress off, he then tosses knives around her while the stage spins!
Alonzo is in love with Nanon but sees her with the handsome strongman, Malabar.
Then, Alonzo hears her ranting about...
Uh-oh, things aren't what they seem! Alonzo's little pal Cojo helps him out of his harness after a show, revealing his arms.
It also comes out that Alonzo is hiding from the police from some earlier crime, and, he has a deformity of his thumb. A little detail in the story Lon probably had fun creating.
Great shot as Alonzo relaxes in his room, he's still using his feet while smoking! It's amazing to watch Lon effortlessly use his skills in this scene.
Alonzo wants Nanon bad! He knows how she feels about men's hands, so, he figures out a shocking plan to win her over!.. He blackmails a surgeon into... REMOVING HIS ARMS!!! What guys won't do for love, jeez!
After some time has passed, Alonzo has returned to the circus, Nanon updates him on her love life. Her and Malabar are madly in love, she has finally matured and is now all woman!
Put yourself in Alonzo's shoes, whoa, the look on his face says it all...
Rich people always love a good show when someone might lose their life in a death defying event like this one...
Malabar is holding back two horses on tread mills while the crowd goes wild.
There is a lever that will stop the tread mills in case of emergency, so, Alonzo's plan is to pull the lever and have the horses rip Malabar's arms off. There is a weird theme about arms going on here...
All Hell breaks loose and Nanon tries to help her lover while nearly being trampled.
Alonzo flips out and pushes Nanon out of the way only to be the one to get trampled! It makes you flinch when the horse comes down on Alonzo, it looks real...