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The Penalty (1920)

Thriller | 70 minutes
3,57 23 votes

Genre: Thriller / Crime

Duration: 70 minuten

Country: United States

Directed by: Wallace Worsley

Starst: Charles Clary, Doris Pawn and Claire Adams

IMDb score: 7,4 (2.642)

Releasedate: 15 August 1920

US
UK

This movie is not available on US streaming services.

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The Penalty plot

Due to an error of judgment, both legs of a boy who is the victim of a traffic accident are amputated. Years later, under the name Blizzard, he is the boss of the underworld and still wants revenge on the doctors responsible. When the daughter of one of the doctors seeks a model for the Devil's effigy, Blizzard shows up and confronts the two doctors.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Barbary Nell

Barbara Ferris

Frisco Pete (as James Mason)

Lichtenstein

Dr. Wilmot Allen

Art Teacher (uncredited)

A Crook (uncredited)

Reviews & comments


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avatar van movie acteurs

movie acteurs

  • 3053 messages
  • 3153 votes

Beautifully played role by Chaney. Here too he shines in a great role. The film also has a good atmosphere. Cinematography is good. The film also has old artistic music.

I love 1920s movies (especially with Chaney). It also amazes me how Worsley put together his 3 movies (one of which I haven't seen yet) back then. He also made this movie quite phenomenal. In terms of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, from 1923, this is a bit less phenomenal and also compared to the scenes. The scenes from The Hunchback of Notre Dame have been made a bit nicer (Chaney on the balcony of Notre Dame, Torture from Quasimodo, End scene) Despite that, I recommend this and give it a well-deserved 4.0.

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avatar van mrklm

mrklm

  • 8650 messages
  • 8418 votes

Anyone who thinks that the basic premise for this genuine melodrama with crime elements is bizarre is in for an unpleasant surprise in the finale. The only reason to watch the story of a master criminal seeking revenge against the two doctors responsible for the unnecessary amputation of his legs is Lon Chaney's incredible tour de force. No grotesque make-up this time, but Chaney learned to walk on his knees (he even walks up a flight of stairs in this film!), but the pain he endured is not visible on screen.

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avatar van Roger Thornhill

Roger Thornhill

  • 5616 messages
  • 2225 votes

Remarkable unsentimental crime drama with a nice revenge theme and a decent pace, but as far as I'm concerned its main value lies in the fact that it makes it clear that Lon Chaney does not (or at least not only) have to rely on bizarre masquerades. or of the extreme physical bends into which he can wriggle. Of course he does the latter here too (and it pains me just to imagine how his legs must be pinched off), but as far as I'm concerned his "ordinary" acting deserves at least as much attention, because it's completely understandable how Barbary (the sculptress) sees in him her model of Satan. What a nasty head he pulls here, and what an imposing body is underneath. Impressive movie, impressive role (and pretty impressive crowd scenes, by the way, when Blizzard imagines how the gigantic robbery of downtown San Francisco will work).

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