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The Unholy Three (1930)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 12 July 1930 (USA)
"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.

Director:

Jack Conway

Writer:

Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins (from the book by) (as Clarence Aaron Robbins)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lon Chaney ... Echo
Lila Lee ... Rosie
Elliott Nugent ... Hector
Harry Earles ... Midget
John Miljan ... Prosecuting Attorney
Ivan Linow ... Hercules
Clarence Burton Clarence Burton ... Regan
Crauford Kent ... Defense Attorney
Learn more

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Storyline

Professor Echo is a sideshow ventriloquist who recruits two sociopathic co-workers, Midge and Hercules, the show's midget and strong man respectively, into a burglary ring. Echo disguises himself as the elderly Mrs. O'Grady, the owner of a pet store, who sells talking parrots and mynah birds to a high-class clientèle with Hercules posing as his son-in-law married to Echo's pickpocket girlfriend Rosie and Midge passing as their infant son. Echo's ventriloquist skills initially convince the customers that their parrot can talk, but they're disappointed when they bring the mute bird home. A phone call of complaint brings Grandma O'Grady and her daughter's "baby" to the client's house to facilitate the bird's talking, an opportunity to case the house for a subsequent robbery by "The Unholy Three." Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The amazing Chaney not only talks, but he changes his voice as he changes his disguises! (Print Ad-Daily Examiner,((Grafton, NSW)) 6 December 1930) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Victor McLaglen, could not be loaned out from Fox to reprise his role of Hercules from the original silent version of this film, so the part was eventually shortened in the final cut. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sideshow Barker: This is just a little sample of what you will see on the inside. The beginning of the religious dance of the muscleman. This is the dance that broke the sultan's thermometer! Just a moment there, the big sensations for the inside. Remember I said, the big sensation on the inside. The admission is a dime, ten cents or ten part of a dollar.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An alternate ending was shot but never released. Closer to the original silent version, it has Echo telling Rosie to go to Hector at the carnival after he makes a full confession in the court. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Aloha Oe
(1908) (uncredited)
Music by Queen Liliuokalani
Instrumental version heard on radio by Hector and Rosie
See more »

User Reviews

 
Lon Chaney Sr.'s performance in the talkie version of The Unholy Three was a good enough one to end his career on
29 December 2012 | by tavmSee all my reviews

The only reason I decided to watch this was because this was Lon Chaney Sr.'s only talkie movie as he'd untimely die after this came out. I had not seen his previous silent one and while I had the option to also check that out from my local library, I just decided to see this version, for now. It's not bad as an early sound film and I appreciated the humor of some scenes but, like others commenting here, I did have trouble hearing some of the little person Harry Earles' words when he spoke them as well as that of the strongman played by Ivan Linow. Lila Lee wasn't bad as the pickpocket-turned-betrayer Rosie and neither was Elliott Nugent as her eventual boyfriend though he had more success when he turned director of various Bob Hope comedies. It was also a nice surprise that part of this film took place on Christmas Eve since the holiday just passed as you can tell by the date of this review. Oh, and yes, Lon was fine voice-wise whether doing his own or that of an old woman when wearing a disguise and also as a dummy's voice when throwing it as well as a parrot. Maybe a haunting music score could have helped in some scenes but overall, this version of The Unholy Three was good enough that I say this is worth a look.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A szentségtelen hármas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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