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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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"Talkie" remake of Tod Browning's 1925 silent film. A trio of former sideshow performers double as the "Unholy Three" in a scam to nab some shiny rocks.

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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Cemetery Man (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
For criminal purposes
16 December 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Lon Chaney known as the man of a thousand faces usually reserved those faces for some grotesque character or monster to which he brought his considerable acting talents to create sympathy. The Unholy Three is an unusual film because he's quite an ordinary man here, but he effects the disguise of an old woman for criminal purposes.

Due to some light fingered activity at a carnival he was employed at Chaney, strong man Victor McLaglen, and midget Harry Earles find themselves unemployed. Chaney who is a ventriloquist decides that the three with their unique physical characteristics and talents can be used to create a nice criminal gang. Chaney in fact goes incognito in the guise of an old woman and Earles plays her grand baby. Personally I think he was way too big to be a toddler, but that's a little dramatic license that director Todd Browning was taking.

Chaney also buys a pet shop and Mae Busch who was a carnival waif goes and lives with them. They also employ Matt Moore as a salesman who is totally clueless about Chaney's and Earles's real identity and what they really do.

Things go wrong and a murder is committed on a job Chaney could not go along on. That sets the rest of the story in motion.

Of course Chaney's guise as an old woman is an astounding success as were all the other characters he created. Yet all the makeup and special effects would be for naught had he not had the acting chops to make it real.

Saying that and saying that because Chaney's virtuosity dominates the film. I thought the ending was truly a cop out. It dulls the impact of Chaney's artistry and it was quite a let down in a film I was ready to rate a notch or two higher.

Still his legion of fans will be well satisfied with this silent version of The Unholy Three remade by MGM for sound, Chaney's one and only sound feature.


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