Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Nomads of the North / The Shock|
Actors: Lon Chaney, Virginia Valli, Jack Mower, William Welsh, Henry A. Barrows
Directors: David Hartford, Lambert Hillyer
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Lon Chaney, one of the most gifted and versatile actors of the silent era, headlines this exciting double bill of action classics. In "Nomads of the North" (1920, 77 min.), three men vie for the love of beautiful Nanette R... more »
Two great films with a great actor!
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 06/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These two excellent films from the early 1920s feature Lon Chaney without any disguises or make-up, but still as impressive as in his more famous roles such as the Phantom of the Opera. In both of these films his acting is very expressive, and in "The Shock" he is extremely convincing as a cripple in a wheelchair and the crook who turns good. "Nomads of the North" has many lovely scenes of the Canadian wilderness and for animal lovers there are several nice scenes of a cute bear cub playing with a puppy who are Chaney's two companions in the wilderness. In the midst of this nice scenery, a rather complicated situation develops when he is wanted for the accidental death of a man, and his beloved Nanette helps him escape to a life on the run together. It has a few moments of suspense as he is almost caught and you keep hoping he won't be, and although the ending might be predictable to some, it's still very rewarding viewing.The second film, "The Shock" is my favourite, mainly due to more suspense and twists and turns, as well as Chaney's excellent portrayal of a cripple working for an underworld "queen" in Chinatown whom he later disobeys. His life is changed by Gertrude, the woman he falls in love with, and he determines to change the outcome of the underworld queen's plans. There is a surprising dramatic climax at the end, and although it's only a short film of just over an hour, it feels like you've watched quite a dramatic epic. Both films are digitally mastered and the picture quality is very good throughout, and the music is by Robert Israel. I found it especially good in "Nomads of the North", to which Israel plays a Fotoplayer - an instrument created to accompany silent films - and it includes various sounds for special effects. "The Shock" has the more standard, but also very good, orchestral musical score. I've really enjoyed both these films, both on their own and because of Lon Chaney, and recommend them to anyone who enjoys a quality silent film."
The great Chaney
Keaton Fan | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These two films show a non-monstrous Chaney, giving viewers a chance to see his real face (though in the first film, he's wearing a mop of a wig that's unintentionally funny).
In "Nomads" Chaney is the leading man, Raoul, whose fiancee is led to believe that he is dead. Raoul comes upon her in the midst of a wedding ceremony to the evil "other man", leading to complications that cause the two lovers, married hastily, to flee their small Canadian town for the woods. The pet animals in the film are a delight to watch, especially with Chaney so clearly enjoying his scenes with them.
In "Shock", Chaney is a hardened criminal softened by the influence of A Good Woman. Unfortunately, the Good Woman is so boring, you can't understand how Chaney's character can spend any length of time in her company without lapsing into a coma. Only in the climactic scene does she show something besides pure saintliness, and that only for a few minutes. However, it's Chaney's show all the way, and he grabs each scene and holds it effortlessly. As his character is disabled, Chaney has the chance to show off his ability to put his body into some strange and very uncomfortable postures.
A good addition to a silent-film library."
Wilderness and God
Samantha Kelley | USA | 09/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nomads of the North is a film starring Lon Chaney and Betty Blythe as lovers in the wilds of Canada. Blythe is wanted by another man, a wealthy man who is willing to forgive her family's debts, but her love for Chaney keeps her loyal. The wealthy man cons another into claiming Blythe's love is dead, causing her to accept his proposal. In the nick of time, though, Chaney arrives with his pet puppy and baby bear, taking Blythe away from deciet. However, he accidentally kills a man in a fight and is a wanted criminal. The two lovers cannot be separated for long, and they soon become fugitives of the law.
This film is interesting but not amazing. One of the bright spots of the film are the adorable baby animals, especially the bear which is unusual to see in films. Unfortunately, the back of the case claims that the film is taken from a gorgeous nitrate negative, but it has not been restored and is covered in artifacts and scratches.
The Shock is the better of the two films. It features a gangster (Lon Chaney) who goes to a small town in order to threaten a man who is being blackmailed by his female boss. When he is there, however, he finds that this man's daughter is nothing but good. She helps him to find God and gives him a reason to want to live. Although he falls in love with her, she is engaged to another man, but Chaney stays by her side and wishes her the best. All comes falling down though when he gets his orders from his crime boss to act on his assignment.
This film is short but gripping appropriately fleshed out. Chaney is heartbreaking and carries the film nicely."