The Unholy Three (1925) (Full Screen) (Silent)
Warner Archive Collection (series)
In this hypnotic mix of creepiness and crime, Lon Chaney plays a ventriloquist who dons a granny disguise to team with a strongman and a little person in a bizarre robbery scheme that ends in murder.
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 26 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: October 26, 2010
- Originally Released: 1925
- Label: Warner Archives
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Matt Moore, Lon Chaney, Mae Busch, Victor McLaglen, Harry Earles & Matt Moore|
|Directed by||Tod Browning|
|Screenwriting by||Waldemar Young|
|Director of Photography:||David Kesson|
Description by OLDIES.com:
Lon Chaney - the Man of a Thousand Faces - used his makeup skills, astonishing physicality and profound empathy to create Quasimodo, the Phantom of the Opera and more of the Silent Era's greatest horror roles. In this hypnotic mix of creepiness and crime, he plays a ventriloquist who dons a granny disguise to team with a strongman and a little person in a bizarre robbery scheme that ends in murder. The film marks an even more fateful alliance than that of the Unholy Three: the collaboration between Chaney and director Tod Browning, who would helm seven more Chaney movies before making Sound Era horror history with Dracula and Freaks.
Although Lon Chaney and director Tod Browning had made a couple of films together earlier in their careers, this unique melodrama marked the beginning of a string of chilling, macabre silent films, which included WEST OF ZANZIBAR, THE UNKNOWN, and THE BLACK BIRD. Chaney is Echo, a sideshow ventriloquist. He cooks up a scam with two other members of the sideshow -- Hercules, the strong man (Victor McLaglen), and Tweedledee, a midget (Harry Earles). The three of them open up a bird store full of parrots that have impressive vocabularies -- but only when Echo, dressed as proprietress Granny O'Grady, is around. When the buyer takes the bird home and it won't talk, Granny comes around with a baby (Tweedledee in swaddling clothes). While "Granny" (using his powers of ventriloquism) coaxes the parrot into speaking, the midget cases the joint to see if there's anything worth robbing later. Trouble comes when they hire Hector, a simple soul (Matt Moore), as a clerk. Echo's pickpocket sweetheart, Rosie (Mae Busch) falls in love with him. Meanwhile, Hercules and Tweedledee murder a man while they're in the midst of one of their robberies. Hector is arrested for the crime while the others flee. To save Hector, Rosie finally agrees to give him up if Echo saves him. By throwing his voice, Echo makes Hector appear to give testimony which frees him. When Rosie goes to Echo, however, he sends her back to Hector, while he returns to the side show. His two cohorts meet their end when they run afoul of Echo's pet gorilla. This hugely successful film was remade as Chaney's first -- and last -- talkie. Harry Earles (who might also be remembered from his starring role in FREAKS) reprises his role as Tweedledee.
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