Starring Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry and Joan Crawford
September, 1927

Most of the New York reviewers agreed that there is some splendid acting by Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry and Joan Crawford in this picture, but the sordidness of the story produced varied reactions. "In heartily recommending this picture, I nevertheless warn you that, while it is fascinating, it also is a bit repulsive to see a man using his feet for every purpose ordinary mortals employ their hands," declares Herbert Cruikshank, in the Morning Telegraph, who goes on to say that the film is as fascinating and thrilling as any tale of Poe's. Mordaunt Hall, writing in the Times, asserts that "although it has strength and undoubtedly sustains the interest, 'The Unknown' . . . is anything but a pleasant story. It is gruesome and at times shocking . . ." "The story is thrilling," says Regina Cannon, in the American, who predicts that the Chaney fans will check it off as one more triumph for their favorite. The World, while admitting that Chaney does a fine piece of acting, calls the photoplay "altogether an unsatisfying picture and not worthy of its star." "Tod Browning productions," says John S. Cohen, Jr., in the Sun, "whether they be horrifying or not, are usually skilful and 'The Unknown' is no exception. Barring its general lack of pictorial movement and cheap titling, it is rather well acted, directed, photographed and lighted. Joan Crawford is a particularly fascinating heroine, and Norman Kerry as the strong man is admirable. But, of course, it is Mr. Chaney's picture. It must be one after his own heart, for he is required to undergo contortions that might well be the envy of any professional circus gymnast."

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