Cinema of Silence
A Lunch community devoted to classic silent films.
a question by Dec 11, 2010
What are your favorite Lon Chaney, Sr. films?
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answered:    January 03, 2011
Count, I don't know if I can give a valid answer since I have only seen two of his films. He was a lot better in The Phantom of the Opera then as the Hunchback. Also, the amount of torture he put his face through to get a realistic look was amazing. In Hunchback he tortured the rest of his body. I understand the hump weighed quite a lot so he did not have to exaggerate his bent over walk too much.
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January 03, 2011
The amount of discomfort he put himself through for his roles has been frequently exaggerated. While his makeup as the Phantom certainly wasn't comfortable, it's not true that he was in a great deal of pain and as Quasimodo, his hunch only weighed between 15 and 20 lbs., so it wasn't that bad. If you want to see a film where he did cause himself a great deal of pain, see "The Penalty" in which he plays a vicious gangster with no legs. To pull it off, he had to walk on his knees with his feet tied behind him to his thighs.
January 03, 2011
How does one see some of these films? Are they available from Netflix?
January 03, 2011
I've never tried Netflix, so I'm not sure how diverse their film catalog is, but I often catch silent films whenever they're shown on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) on tv and I buy a lot of silent films on DVD from a number of home video companies (such as The Criterion Collection, Kino International and Image Entertainment). Criterion carries a number of foreign silent films I love. Kino has a ton of great silent films from different countries and the U.S.. And Image has versions of a few influential silent films including about a half-dozen Lon Chaney films.
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