Review: ‘The Black Bird’

In The Black Bird Lon Chaney plays a dual role, that of a crook and of his brother, a Limehouse missionary. Although the reverend fellow is crippled up plenty, the curse is taken off by one shot showing the crook throwing his arm and leg out of joint and then assuming the role of the man whom the world thought to be his brother. That's the basis of the story, for the crook falls in love with a music hall performer, while a flashier crook from the West End also goes for the same girl.

In The Black Bird Lon Chaney plays a dual role, that of a crook and of his brother, a Limehouse missionary. Although the reverend fellow is crippled up plenty, the curse is taken off by one shot showing the crook throwing his arm and leg out of joint and then assuming the role of the man whom the world thought to be his brother. That’s the basis of the story, for the crook falls in love with a music hall performer, while a flashier crook from the West End also goes for the same girl.

It’s a good melodrama, excellently produced. Chaney handles his two parts well and Waldemar Young’s scenario has been so constructed that the rather unique dual role is plausible at all times.

The Black Bird

Production

MGM. Director Tod Browning; Screenplay Tod Browning, Waldemar Young; Camera Percy Hilburn; Editor Errol Taggart; Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Arnold Gillespie

Crew

Silent. (B&W) Extract of a review from 1926. Running time: 76 MIN.

With

Lon Chaney Renee Adoree Owen Moore Doris Lloyd
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