The Penalty

1920

The Penalty

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 5

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 523
User image

Watch it now

The Penalty Photos

Movie Info

This picture, based on the novel by Gouverneur Morris, was a tour de force for Lon Chaney, who plays a legless kingpin of the Barbary Coast underworld. When Buzzard (Chaney) was a boy, his legs were amputated by an incompetent doctor; now that he's an adult, his goal is to get revenge on the doctor, to become the ruler of the underworld and to have someone else's legs grafted onto his stumps. But an operation on a blood clot in his brain converts his evil mind to one that wants to do good. Rose (Ethel Grey Terry), the secret service agent who has been keeping tabs on Buzzard, falls in love with him now that he has reformed and marries him. Buzzard's old associates, however, aren't so thrilled with the change and they murder him.

Cast

Critic Reviews for The Penalty

All Critics (5) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Penalty

  • Nov 22, 2011
    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.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Oct 20, 2009
    Lon Chaney is awesome
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 15, 2007
    A true horror film. Lon Chaney's acting is just perfectible as the mad man whose legs were unnecessarily amputated since his childhood. A good, creepy silent story set in San Francisco. 77/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

The Penalty Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features