Three sideshow performers leave their lives of captivity and become "The Unholy Three." Echo the ventriloquist assumes the role of a kindly old grandmother who runs a bird shop. Tweedledee, the "twenty inch man," becomes her grandbaby, and Hercules is their assistant. Soon an incredible crime wave is launched from their little store. Written by
David Ezell <email@example.com>
During the scene where Echo and company are fleeing the pet store, Echo decides to take his pet ape with them. The "Ape" was actually a three-foot-tall chimp who was made to appear gigantic with camera trickery, an especially built smaller scale set to make it look bigger, and perspective shots. When Echo removes the ape from his cage, the shot shows Echo (with his back turned to the camera) unlocking the cage and walking the ape to the truck. The ape appears to be roughly the same size as Echo. This effect was achieved by having dwarf actor Harry Earles (who played "Tweedledee" in the film) play Echo for these brief shots, and then cutting to the normal sized Lon Chaney, making it seems as though the Ape is gigantic. See more »
When Hector and Rosie are bringing home the Christmas tree, Matt Moore is wearing his glasses as they enter the store. Once inside, they are gone. Later, as he brings the tree into the living area, they re-appear. See more »
[as the detective's about to find the stolen jewels in the toy elephant, he snatches it from the detective and gives it to Tweedledee]
I hate to see anybody tease a baby.
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Unholy Three, The (1925)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
A Tod Browning film about a ventriloquist (Lon Chaney), a strongman (Victor McLaglen) and a midget (Harry Earles of Freaks fame) who join forces after leaving the sideshow to become "The Unholy Three". The ventriloquist masquerades as an elderly woman while the midget hides as a baby so the three can steal jewels from the rich. I'm somewhat cheating by including this here but it doesn't contain a few horror elements as well as one of the most suspenseful and brilliantly carried out scenes from the era. Chaney is very good in both his roles but it's Earles who steals the show as the maniac midget. Browning adds a touch of weirdness to the film and we see a brief introduction to the circus world years before Freaks.
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