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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Toward the end of the film, while Echo (Lon Chaney) and Rosie (Mae Busch) are having their conversation in the wooded area outside the cabin, both characters are clearly casting shadows on the scenery behind them, revealing that the 'woods' are actually a painting on a canvas backdrop. See more »
A great film...period. Lon Chaney heads a group of three thieves/carnival performers as they masquerade as an old woman, a man, and a baby in a pet shop where they sell birds that talk only by ventriloquism. Once the owners get home they see the birds no longer talk and the thieves are invited into their opulent homes. Tod Browning, the director of Dracula, does a marvelous job with this film. There are scenes that are just fantastic, the best of which for me is the courtroom scene. Browning gets a lot of help, however, by some real good performances. Chaney turns in a complex performance of a ventriloquist in love, yet evil, yet with some slight conscience. The scene in the courtroom where he deliberates helping Hector is acting at its best. Throw in a great job by Mae Busch and little Harry Earles as a cigar-smoking midget disguised as a baby. The silent film is a lost art only in that we no longer view it, talk about it, review it like it should. This film and the performances within should be seen not heard.
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