The Penalty Reviews

  • Feb 03, 2019

    Lon Chaney is fascinating in this silent underworld crime story.

    Lon Chaney is fascinating in this silent underworld crime story.

  • Jun 10, 2017

    The Penalty has its weaker parts and it isn't as great overall as it could have been, but the premise is awesome and this crime flick features a crazy, incredibly dark thematically and emotionally storyline and filled with questionable actions by its characters. The reason to see it of course lies in the performance from Lon Chaney which is absolutely phenomenal. He had to physically torture himself while also portraying a very complex character and he still did a masterful job. This is certainly one great vehicle for one the best actors who ever lived.

    The Penalty has its weaker parts and it isn't as great overall as it could have been, but the premise is awesome and this crime flick features a crazy, incredibly dark thematically and emotionally storyline and filled with questionable actions by its characters. The reason to see it of course lies in the performance from Lon Chaney which is absolutely phenomenal. He had to physically torture himself while also portraying a very complex character and he still did a masterful job. This is certainly one great vehicle for one the best actors who ever lived.

  • Feb 18, 2017

    Lon Chaney is amazing in this silent film about a legless criminal kingpin. Chaney went to great lengths to hide his legs and fully inhabit the role, and it is a towering performance. the story is predictable but serviceable, but this is a film to watch for the performance. Seek it out!

    Lon Chaney is amazing in this silent film about a legless criminal kingpin. Chaney went to great lengths to hide his legs and fully inhabit the role, and it is a towering performance. the story is predictable but serviceable, but this is a film to watch for the performance. Seek it out!

  • Jan 31, 2016

    Another physically stunning masterpiece by Lon Chaney, arguably the greatest actor of all time. His incredible contortion endured to portray a legless villain is simply beyond our understanding in the present world of CGI and special effects. What Lon Chaney accomplished in his mastercraft should inspire and educate future actors pursuing physically dramatic roles. Chaney's character, Blizzard, stirs empathy within the viewer, simply by his actions despite his evil. A must for any cinema student or Lon Chaney buff.

    Another physically stunning masterpiece by Lon Chaney, arguably the greatest actor of all time. His incredible contortion endured to portray a legless villain is simply beyond our understanding in the present world of CGI and special effects. What Lon Chaney accomplished in his mastercraft should inspire and educate future actors pursuing physically dramatic roles. Chaney's character, Blizzard, stirs empathy within the viewer, simply by his actions despite his evil. A must for any cinema student or Lon Chaney buff.

  • Sep 27, 2015

    This movie is an absolute privilege to watch, not only because its one of the few Lon Chaney films to survive but also one of his greatest performances. In this film, he plays the crime lord Blizzard a double amputee out for revenge after his legs are accidently cut off as a boy during a botched operation. Chaney actually tied his legs behind him and walked on his knees in these buckets with leather straps so that he would look the part and wouldn't have to rely on trick angles. I mean he just gives each performance his absolute effort and it really shows in this picture. don't be turned away by it being a silent film as it's up to par and maybe even better than sound movies today. 5/5

    This movie is an absolute privilege to watch, not only because its one of the few Lon Chaney films to survive but also one of his greatest performances. In this film, he plays the crime lord Blizzard a double amputee out for revenge after his legs are accidently cut off as a boy during a botched operation. Chaney actually tied his legs behind him and walked on his knees in these buckets with leather straps so that he would look the part and wouldn't have to rely on trick angles. I mean he just gives each performance his absolute effort and it really shows in this picture. don't be turned away by it being a silent film as it's up to par and maybe even better than sound movies today. 5/5

  • May 18, 2014

    Truly amazing how Chaney transforms physically to appear, more they successfully, as a double leg amputee seeking vengeance for the wrong done to him. One shot of him climbing two handed, pulling up his whole torso, and hidden curled legs, so briskly, to a high peep hole to spy on the doctor's daughter is amazing to watch. The pain he went through for the role is not apparent in the slightest, it cements yet again his mastery of make up and prosthetics to play malformed characters. .. But his characters also exhibit pathos or in this case, the evil that consumes this character via his years or crime and plotting revenge. Chaney, you were a wonder!

    Truly amazing how Chaney transforms physically to appear, more they successfully, as a double leg amputee seeking vengeance for the wrong done to him. One shot of him climbing two handed, pulling up his whole torso, and hidden curled legs, so briskly, to a high peep hole to spy on the doctor's daughter is amazing to watch. The pain he went through for the role is not apparent in the slightest, it cements yet again his mastery of make up and prosthetics to play malformed characters. .. But his characters also exhibit pathos or in this case, the evil that consumes this character via his years or crime and plotting revenge. Chaney, you were a wonder!

  • Feb 07, 2013

    good flick, with interesting portrayals. I felt that each actor tried, with success, to bring their characters to life and be believable. Solid direction and camera work, though the script seemed simplistic - but that was often a hallmark of the silent age. Appropriate ending given the scenes immediately prior.

    good flick, with interesting portrayals. I felt that each actor tried, with success, to bring their characters to life and be believable. Solid direction and camera work, though the script seemed simplistic - but that was often a hallmark of the silent age. Appropriate ending given the scenes immediately prior.

  • Aj V Super Reviewer
    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.

    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.

  • Dec 23, 2010

    Another outstanding performance from Lon Chaney...even 90 years later, who's still amazing to watch today. A master craftsman in world cinema not only for silent era, undoubtedly for all time.

    Another outstanding performance from Lon Chaney...even 90 years later, who's still amazing to watch today. A master craftsman in world cinema not only for silent era, undoubtedly for all time.

  • Oct 06, 2010

    A wonderful criminal tragedy starring the great Lon Chaney.

    A wonderful criminal tragedy starring the great Lon Chaney.