Before Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese, before John Wayne and John Ford, Lon Chaney and director Tod Browning forged an ongoing collaboration–nine films from 1920 to ’29–whose macabre stories and carny/underworld settings mocked the bright lights of the Jazz Age. Their most delirious project was The Unknown (1927), a perverse melodrama about an armless circus performer (Chaney) and a beautiful bareback rider (18-year-old Joan Crawford) with a phobia of men’s hands. With its undercurrents of frigidity and castration anxiety, the story was excellent material for Browning, and the film races along with the awful momentum of a bad dream. 65 min. Screening as part of the Portage Park Silent Film Festival; Dennis Scott will provide live organ accompaniment. Fri 5/26, 8 PM, Portage.