Lon Chaney is among the most-popular of silent era stars, largely for the lasting appeal of his wide-range of character roles. The highlight of this collection is the appearance on DVD of three lesser-known Chaney films that are yet among his best films.
Chaney fans, hungry for more of their man’s work, will be pleased with the quality home video debuts of The Ace of Hearts (1921) and Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928). The Unknown (1927) is a deliciously quirky Tod Browning gem, and Kevin Brownlow’s gorgeous documentary features rare footage, and valuable info and photographs.
The DVD collection is economically priced for its five-and-a-half hours of content. — Carl Bennett
2003 DVD edition
Lon Chaney Collection (1921-2000), black & white and color, 329 minutes total, not rated,
including The Ace of Hearts (1921), black & white, 74 minutes, not rated, The Unknown (1927), black & white, 49 minutes, not rated, Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928), black & white, 73 minutes, not rated, and Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000), black & white and color, 85 minutes, not rated.
Warner Home Video, 65791, UPC 0-12569-57912-5.
Two single-sided, dual-layered, Region 1NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, 5 Mbps average video bit rate, 192 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, French and Spanish language subtitles, chapter stops; two plastic DVD trays on cardboard wrap in cardboard slipcase, $39.98.
Release date: 28 October 2003.
Country of origin: USA
This collection from Warner Home Video is packed with attractive extras. Not only does the collection contain the three main films, also included is the Photoplay Productions documentary Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000), Rick Schmidlin’s lame 2002 photo reconstruction of the lost film London After Midnight (1927), audio commentaries by Chaney biographer Michael F. Blake, an introduction by TCM host Robert Osborne, and photo and memorabilia galleries.