Outside The Law (1920, B&W):
A mob boss trying to go straight is framed for murder. "Silent" Madden is sentenced to prison and the man who sent him there, ruthless thug Black Mike Silva, takes over his territory. Madden's daughter, Molly learns the truth about Black Mike's treachery from one of Mike's own gangsters, Dapper Bill Ballard. Drawn together by passion, greed and a thirst for revenge, Molly and Bill steal a cache of hot jewels from Mike's safe. With both the police and Black Mike combing the city for them, Molly and Bill try to lay low in an anonymous apartment as the noose gradually tightens.
Lon Chaney plays two roles in this intense and gritty silent crime drama directed by Tod Browning (The Unholy Three - 1925, Dracula - 1931, Freaks - 1932). Palpably menacing as Black Mike and utterly inscrutable as Chinese servant Ah Wing, Chaney was still a few years from the widespread fame that followed his appearances in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925).
Starring Lon Chaney, Priscilla Dean, Wheeler Oakman; Directed by Tod Browning.
The Trap (1922, B&W): Happy-go-lucky country boy Gaspard the Good has a perfect life. He owns a mine that he works by day, and he has a beautiful girlfriend, Thalie, who he courts at night. But a brute named Benson enters his world, robbing him of his livelihood and marrying his girl. In the ensuing years Gaspard descends into an abyss of despair. Driven by a thirst for revenge, the broken man springs a trap that puts Benson into prison and sends Benson's child into Gaspard's custody. His vengeance accomplished, Gaspard is now forced to face the darkest aspects of his shattered soul.
Without the benefit of the amazing makeup that typified many of his most memorable performances, Lon Chaney instead relies solely on his extremely malleable face to trace Gaspard's wrenching transformation from ecstatic innocence to tortured malevolence.
Starring Lon Chaney, Alan Hale, Dagmar Godovsky; Directed by Robert Thornby.
"The Man of a Thousand Faces" shows what earned him that moniker in this dazzling pair of performances from Lon Chaney. Included here are the silent films OUTSIDE THE LAW, directed by Tod Browning (FREAKS), and THE TRAP. Please see individual titles for complete synopsis information.