The Road to Mandalay (1926)

Article 2458 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-25-2007
Posting Date: 5-5-2008
Directed by Tod Browning
Featuring Lon Chaney, Lois Moran, Owen Moore

A criminal with a deformed eye leaves his only daughter in the care of his brother, a priest. He comes to visit her, but she doesn’t know he’s her father, and he doesn’t tell her. He decides if he can make enough money at his criminal activities, he can fix his eye with an operation, reveal himself to her as her father and then perform his fatherly duties. However, he discovers that a criminal associate has decided to marry her, and he sets out to stop it…

This movie no longer exists in complete form, but, from the looks of it, this 35 minute condensation does a decent job of telling the story. There are certain jumps in the narrative, but the basic story is intact, and its similarity to other extant Chaney/Browning films means that you can probably fill in the missing sections without much trouble. The fantastic content is pretty slight; other than the deformity of Chaney’s character and that sleaziness of setting that is the mark of the Chaney/Browning collaborations, this is straightforward melodrama. I found it a fairly entertaining movie, even in this condensed form.



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