The Unknown/Pinto Ben

OCOpen Caption screening
Additional program content
SFSensory Friendly. Details HERE
  • Thursday, May 16

Showtimes updated on Tuesday evenings

The Unknown/Pinto Ben

Live Musical Accompaniment by Ben Model

Introduction by Anthony L’abbate, Preservation Manager in the Moving Image Department at the George Eastman Museum

The George Eastman Museum is located in Rochester, New York, on the estate of George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography and motion picture film. Founded in 1947 as an independent nonprofit institution, it is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the oldest film archives. The museum holds unparalleled collections—encompassing several million objects—in the fields of photography, cinema, and photographic and cinematographic technology, and photographically illustrated books. The institution is also a longtime leader in film preservation and photographic conservation.

Pinto Ben. 1915. 20 m. dir. William S. Hart. Rated NR. 

A 1915 silent film western short written, directed by and starring William S. Hart that has a fascinating restoration story.

The Unknown. 1927. 68 m. dir. Tod Browning. Rated NR. 

A Freudian pile-up of repressed desires, castration anxiety, and Oedipal subtext, The Unknown is widely considered Browning’s crowning achievement and one of the premier works of the silent era. Lon Chaney stars as the Great Alonzo, a supposedly armless precision knife-thrower with a secret or two, including his love for Nanon (Joan Crawford in her breakout role), his assistant, who is possessed by a phobia of men’s upper extremities. Unencumbered by subplots or final-reel repentances, Browning crafts a hallucinatory parable of pent-up passions run amok that unfurls with delirious, brute-force momentum until the very last moment—as strange and haunting today as it was nearly a century ago. The Unknown has finally been restored to essentially its full length by the George Eastman Museum, with approximately 10 minutes of previously lost shots and sequences taken from a Czech export print in the collection of the National Film Archive in Prague.


Extended Introduction by Anthony L

Extended Introduction by Anthony L'Abbate

Thursday, May. 16 2024, 7:00

Anthony L'Abbate is the Preservation Manager in the Moving Image Department at the George Eastman Musuem. A 1999 graduate of The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation. Mr. L’Abbate was employed as a laboratory technician at Cinema Arts, Inc. in New Foundland, PA. from 1999 – 2001. He returned to the Eastman Museum in 2001 as their Stills Archivist. He moved over to preservation in 2007 as Preservation Officer and promoted to Manager in 2017. During his five-year tenure as Stills Archivist, he supervised the scanning of hundreds of still images and frame captures from preserved films. He has overseen the preservation and restoration of Roaring Rails (1924), Jazzmania (1923), Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951), and Huckleberry Finn (1920). Recent restoration projects include The Clutch of Circumstance (1918) and the reconstruction / restoration of The Unknown (1927).

Tickets: $15 (members), $20 (nonmembers)

Buy Tickets

Coming Soon


Opens 4/26

Evil Does Not Exist

Opens 5/17

I Saw the TV Glow

Opens 5/17

The Jacob Burns Film Center is proud to receive generous support from:

Email Sign Up

Get updates on screenings at the JBFC Theater, upcoming events, and more!