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The Unholy Three (1925)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 16 August 1925 (USA)
A sideshow ventriloquist, midget, and strongman form a conspiracy known as "The Unholy Three" and commit a series of robberies.

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Writers:

(story) (as Tod Robbins), (scenario)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Matthew Betz ...
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Attorney for the Defense (as William Humphreys)
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Prosecuting Attorney (as A.E. Warren)
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Storyline

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 <dezell@cody.gac.peachnet.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1925 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Trindade Maldita  »

Box Office

Budget:

$103,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$704,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While getting ready for the role, Chaney remembered a thief he met when he traveled in his youth. He borrowed the man's attitude and mannerism. See more »

Goofs

For a couple of shots when Echo & The Kid are at Mr. Arlington's house, Harry Earles (the actor playing The Kid) accidentally left his wedding ring on his finger. See more »

Quotes

Dime Museum Announcer: [as the Dancer does the Shimmy] Now, folks - that's just a sample of the little lady's art! The show on the inside starts immediately! See her do the dance that broke the Sultan's thermometer.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Browning Version
26 October 2009 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

In an effort to make more money than they do as traveling carnival show attractions, velvet-voiced ventriloquist Lon Chaney (as Echo), baby-impersonating dwarf Harry Earles (as Tweedledee), and strongman Victor McLaglen (as Hercules) team up to form a gang of jewel thieves who call themselves "The Unholy Three". The crooked trio begins operating out of a bird shop run by Mr. Chaney, posing as sweet "Granny O'Grady", mother of pickpocket and gang moll Mae Busch (as Rosie). The front works like a charm, but Ms. Busch attracts the attention of straight-flying Matt Moore (as Hector), who forms a "love triangle" with Chaney.

Then, an unexpected murder brings further unwelcome advances... from the police.

This was re-made as Chaney's first - and only, unhappily - sound feature, in 1930. Of the many Chaney hits, "The Unholy Three" seemed like the most obvious one to improve with sound; and, Chaney's performance in both is stellar. While the later version has problems, Chaney enhanced his already incredible performance. In this one, frequent collaborator/director Tod Browning is definitely an asset. Also remarkable is Mr. Earle, who hadn't mastered English for the re-make, but seemed fine by "Freaks" (1932); his wicked, cigar-smoking baby is classic.

"The Unholy Three" (1925) was honored as one of its year's best pictures at "Film Daily" (#2), Motion Picture Magazine (#3), and The New York Times (#3) - after winners "The Gold Rush", "The Big Parade", and "The Last Laugh". At Motion Picture, Chaney's individual performance ranked third (after "Best Actor" Emil Jannings and runner-up John Gilbert). The film is perversely appealing - which was then, and is now, a Chaney/Browning hallmark.

******** The Unholy Three (8/16/25) Tod Browning ~ Lon Chaney, Mae Busch, Harry Earles, Matt Moore


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