AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Penalty
Director: Wallace Worsley (Dir)
Release Date:   Aug 1920
Duration (in reels):   7
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Cast:   Lon Chaney (Blizzard)  
    Ethel Grey Terry (Rose)  
    Charles Clary (Dr. Ferris)  
    Claire Adams (Barbara)  
    Kenneth Harlan (Dr. Wilmont)  
    James Mason (Frisco Pete)  
    Edouard Trebaol (Bubbles)  
    Milton Ross (O'Hagan)  
    Wilson Hummel (A crook)  
    J. Montgomery Carlyle    

Summary: Blizzard grows to become master of the underworld, driven by his overwhelming desire to revenge himself upon Dr. Ferris, the man who crippled him as a child. The object of Blizzard's revenge is Ferris' daughter Rose, who falls in love with the cripple. Luring Rose's fiancĂ© Wilmont to his apartment, Blizzard orders Ferris to graft Wilmont's legs onto his body. Upon threat of his daughter's death, Ferris agrees, but when Blizzard awakens he discovers that Ferris has performed an operation on his brain which has destroyed his desire for evil. Rose and Blizzard are then married but their happiness is short-lived when the cripple is killed by a former henchman. 

Production Company: Eminent Authors Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Goldwyn Distributing Corp.  
Director: Wallace Worsley (Dir)
Producer: Samuel Goldwyn (Pres)
  Rex Beach (Pres)
Writer: Charles Kenyon (Scen)
  Philip Lonergan (Scen)
Photography: Don Short (Cam)
Film Editor: J. G. Hawks (Ed)
  Frank E. Hull (Film ed)
Country: United States
Language: English

Source Text: Based on the novel The Penalty by Gouverneur Morris (New York, 1913).
Authors: Gouverneur Morris

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Gouverneur Morris 24/7/1920 dd/mm/yyyy LP15383

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Si:

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Crime
 
Subjects (Major): Brain surgery
  Handicapped
  Gangsters
  Revenge
  Physicians
  Surgery
  Transplantation of organs, tissues, etc.
 
Subjects (Minor): Gangs
  Murder

Note: Gouverneur Morris' story was first published in Cosmopolitan Magazine , Apr 1912-Aug 1913. Modern sources credit Gilbert White as the film's art director. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
ETR   31 Jul 20   p. 945.
MPN   28 Aug 20   p. 1623.
MPN   6 Nov 20   p. 3558.
MPN   22 Dec 17   p. 18.
MPN   4 Dec 20   p. 4266.
MPW   21 Aug 20   p. 1069.
New York Morning Telegraph   21 Nov 1920.   
New York Times   15 Nov 20   p. 12.
Wid's   21 Nov 20   p. 3.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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