in about 100 words or less
US 65m, B&W, Silent
Director: Tod Browning; Cast: Lon Chaney, Lionel Barrymore, Mary Nolan, Warner Baxter
Situated in the losing corner of a love triangle, Phroso the magician (Chaney) becomes known as Dead Legs, after a fight with his rival Crane (Barrymore), that leaves him paralyzed and without his wife. Eighteen years later, and plotting his revenge against Crane, the two once again become rivals, as ivory traders in Africa. Believing that he can use Crane’s daughter Maizie to finally get his revenge, Phroso is ultimately faced with an unbearable truth. As one of Browning and Chaney’s best collaborations, West of Zanzibar is a suspenseful and lurid melodrama that borders on the horror genre with its dark twisted conclusion (Klaus Ming April 2017).