By Michael F. Blake
For the 1st time, you could placed conjecture apart and skim definitive evidence concerning the roles Chaney had behind the curtain in addition to in entrance of the camera.
Blake examines Chaney's movie roles during this follow-up to the author's previous biography (Lon Chaney: the fellow in the back of the Thousand Faces, Vestal Pr., 1993). through correspondence, studio notes, and experiences from the preferred press, Blake completely reconstructs the cultural context during which Chaney's motion pictures have been produced, exhibited, and got. even though sometimes topic to silent movie histrionics, Chaney created the position of the twisted antihero, and it really is this contribution to the pantheon of display varieties that Blake hails right here. He tracks Chaney's upward thrust from freelancer to MGM superstar, in addition to his partnership with director Tod Browning, whose darkish visions authorised Chaney's tortured protagonists to thrive. regrettably, Blake's ardour as a fan and proficient curiosity in Chaney's artistry (the writer himself is a make-up artist) is suffocated through a turbid textual content. now and then Blake overexplicates and makes visible inferences. The textual content comprises meticulous endnotes, copious images, and a bibliography.
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Additional resources for A Thousand Faces: Lon Chaney's Unique Artistry in Motion Pictures
Written in 1913 by Gouverneur Morris, a popular writer of the period, the novel doesn’t immediately strike one as being great material for a movie, yet someone at Goldwyn Pictures realized its potential. Fashioned into an effective scenario by Charles Kenyon and Philip Lonergan and ably directed by Wallace Worsley, the film still carries a powerful punch. Borrowing the essence of the plot from the gangster and melodrama themes of the time, the film also incorporates references to the Red Scare of 1919.
As he leaves the office, he encounters the mine superintendent’s daughter. Lon smiles and tips his hat. When she does not return his greeting he turns sullen and walks off. Another example of his efficient use of pantomime to convey a change of emotions takes place when he is introduced to the detective who has been sent to stop the robberies. The detective is speaking with the superintendent’s daughter, and it’s obvious that she is attracted to him. When Lon is introduced to the detective, his amiable expression quickly changes to one of jealousy when he sees the woman he loves show interest in another man.
Scene 369—VLS—Frog reaches the Patriarch. Scene 370—CU—Claire looking on. Scene 371—PS [Panel Shot]—Patriarch and Frog. Frog straightens out his arm. Scene 372—CU—Jewish salesman—opened mouth. Scene 373—PS—Patriarch and Frog. Frog straightens out his leg. Scene 374—CU—Newspaper man’s eyes wide open with cigarette hanging in his mouth. Scene 375—PS—Frog and Patriarch. Frog raises up on his feet. Scene 376—CU—Fat farmer boy with tears in his eyes. Scene 377—PS—Frog and Patriarch. Frog straightens up.
A Thousand Faces: Lon Chaney's Unique Artistry in Motion Pictures by Michael F. Blake