There’s a moment in this week’s film when Lon Chaney’s character, Alonzo, hears a bit of news he really, really doesn’t want to hear.

What follows is a remarkable uninterrupted close-up as he expresses an unbelievable range of emotion from pretend happiness, to despair, to regret, to rage and scheming. It’s the kind of thing you’ll never see in a modern film, and it’s that ability that earned him the moniker “man of a thousand faces.”

Our artists spent six months writing and rehearsing the music that tracks the action and intensity of The Unknown. Every eyebrow twitch, door slam, and knife-hitting-target is echoed in their remarkable live performance.

The Unknown Poster

The Unknown: Lon Chaney & Joan Crawford (1927)
Thursday & Friday, September 11 & 12, at 7PM
Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, $20
Ample, free parking in the new Alamo garage on Treadwell
Tickets and Information

The Experience: This new Alamo has free and convenient parking. You choose your reserved theater seats online when you order. They serve from an extensive kitchen and bar menu during the feature, including a new specialty cocktail designed just for us! Following the shows Brian Satterwhite, host of KMFA’s Film Score Focus, will briefly interview the performers about the movie and their score.

The Film: One of a number of incredible Lon Chaney & Tod Browning collaborations, this film was lost for decades before being rediscovered in an archive. One confusion, the story goes, is that studios used to label discarded films “Unknown.” Since this film title is, in fact, “The Unknown” it was left untouched for many years! The film is full of many twists and turns, its bizarre to be sure. One of the common exclamations we’ve heard is: “I can’t believe this was made in the 20s!” Joan Crawford and Lon Chaney give extraordinary performances, and the incredible range in setting and feeling from circus to hospital, from love to revenge, was the perfect challenge for our musicians to develop a score to support and illustrate its many facets. The film will be projected from original 35mm reels.

The Music and Musicians: Miró Quartet violinist Will Fedkenheuer is not only a member of one of the world’s greatest string quartets, he was also the national fiddle champion of Canada! His versatility and virtuosity make him absolutely perfect for this performance – which tests both! Our composer/guitarists are Randy Avers from Norway and Benoit Albert from France. They spent months studying the film, plotting the action, and developing both new and existing music to mold perfectly to the action on the screen. They fly from Europe to Texas just for these performances.