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The Penalty

The Penalty (1920)

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Release Date: Jan 1, 1920 Wide

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 496

My Rating

Movie Info

Among Lon Chaney's early villainous roles was Blizzard, the criminal mastermind of this melodrama set in San Francisco's Barbary Coast neighborhood. As a young man, Blizzard was the victim of an auto accident, and a quack doctor had mistakenly ordered his legs amputated at the knees. He grows up an embittered, violent man interested only in taking revenge on the rich and powerful, especially the doctor who maimed him and is still practicing. Rose, a secret service agent (Ethel Grey Terry), is

Mar 8, 2005

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All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (1) | DVD (3)

Demonstrates the wonder and value of pre-digital moviemmaking: For all intents and purposes, Chaney *is* a legless man in 'The Penalty,' and the film is a documentary record of this impersonation.

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Famous scene of Chaney straightening twisted legs is real plus.

May 9, 2007
Video-Reviewmaster.com

Somewhat interesting for historical reasons and for Chaney's memorable performance.

October 16, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The Penalty is by far one of the greatest unsung achievements of über-legend Lon Chaney

July 18, 2003
Blunt Review

The reason the film still works instead of surviving merely as a somewhat hysterical anti-communist message film is Lon Chaney's performance.

November 11, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

Audience Reviews for The Penalty

This movie was very predictable, but Cheney does a great job as usual in his strange role of a criminal kingpin without legs. The romantic part of it was good too, although sometimes unintentionally funny. But then the ending was really very sad. Overall it was pretty good, but it could have been better.
November 22, 2011
ajv2688

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Foreign Titles

  • The Penalty (1920) (DE)
  • The Penalty (1920) (UK)
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