IMDb > The Unholy Three (1930)
The Unholy Three
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Unholy Three (1930) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 22 | slideshow)


User Rating:
6.8/10   840 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 34% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins (from the book by)
J.C. Nugent (continuity and dialogue) ...
View company contact information for The Unholy Three on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 July 1930 (USA) See more »
Lon Chaney Talks See more »
"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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
The swan song of an artist See more (34 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lon Chaney ... Echo

Lila Lee ... Rosie

Elliott Nugent ... Hector

Harry Earles ... Midget

John Miljan ... Prosecuting Attorney

Ivan Linow ... Hercules
Clarence Burton ... Regan

Crauford Kent ... Defense Attorney
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Baxley ... Outside Sideshow Barker (uncredited)

Sidney Bracey ... Arlington's Butler (uncredited)

Richard Carle ... Sideshow Barker (uncredited)
Ray Cooke ... Sailor at Sideshow (uncredited)
De Garo ... Fire Eater (uncredited)

Dot Farley ... Woman Buying Parrot (uncredited)

Trixie Friganza ... Lady Customer (uncredited)
Charles Gemora ... Gorilla (uncredited)

Joseph W. Girard ... The Judge (uncredited)
Armand Kaliz ... Jeweler (uncredited)

Fred Kelsey ... Detective at Train (uncredited)

Cecilia Parker ... First Siamese Twin (uncredited)
Linda Parker ... Second Siamese Twin (uncredited)
Sylvester ... Sword Swallower (uncredited)
Birdie Thompson ... Ida From Idaho - Fat Lady (uncredited)

Directed by
Jack Conway 
Writing credits
Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins (from the book by) (as Clarence Aaron Robbins)

J.C. Nugent (continuity and dialogue) and
Elliott Nugent (continuity and dialogue)

Produced by
Irving Thalberg .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
William Axt (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Percy Hilburn (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Frank Sullivan (film editor)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Makeup Department
Lon Chaney .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Mintz .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Anstruther MacDonald .... sound recording engineer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
George Hurrell Sr. .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
David Cox .... wardrobe
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
72 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Finland:(Banned) (1931) | Netherlands:18 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Known as "The Man of 1000 Faces", Chaney signed a legal affidavit declaring all the voices he performed in this, his only talking film, were actually his own. Thus, in addition to multiple characters, he performed multiple voices.See more »
Rosie O'Grady:[Both are laughing] Why, I... I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
[She laughs again and so does he]
Professor Echo, aka Mrs. 'Grandma' O'Grady:Well, why - why not do a little of both? You know the old gag. That's all there is to life. A little laughter... a little tear.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)See more »
Introduction to SalammbôSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
The swan song of an artist, 27 February 2000
Author: BobLib from Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Make no mistake, Lon Chaney Sr. was one of the most talented and versatile actors in the history of American Film. And in this, his only completed sound film, he is brilliant. As Professor Echo he uses his own pleasant voice (William Holden's voice is a good comparison), while he effectively and believably changes his voice during his old lady disguise. One wonders if he knew he was terminally ill when he made this film. Several sound vehicles were planned for him: "Dracula" (Bela Lugosi became a star inheriting the Chaney part), "The Sea Bat" (Charles Bickford), "The Phantom of Paris" (John Gilbert), and "The Big House" and "The Bugle Sounds" (Wallace Beery, the former establishing him in sound films.). One can only wonder how any of these films would have been if Chaney had lived to complete them.

But Chaney's is not the only good performance here. Lila Lee and future director-screenwriter Elliott Nugent are both good as the young lovers, the former's scenes with Chaney being some of the best in the picture. And, just as much as he did in the silent version, midget Harry Earles conveys pure menace as the depraved dwarf Tweedledee, although a combination of early sound equipment and his thick German accent make many of his lines all but incomprehensible. Reducing that accent by half, he would do impressive work in "Freaks" and, of course, "The Wizard of Oz" later in the decade. The only other roles of any size fall to veteran character men Clarence Burton and John Miljan, and they prove themselves more than up to the task.

Probably the only way anyone will get to see this film, until MGM decides to release it on video, is on Turner Classic Movies, which is where I saw it recently. If you do see it, you're in for a rare treat.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (34 total) »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Unholy Three In Cold Blood Hurricane Smith Making the Headlines The Bridge of San Luis Rey
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Crime section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.