The Unholy Three (1925 film)

The Unholy Three (1925 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Unholy Three (1925)

director = Tod Browning
producer = Tod Browning and Irving Thalberg (uncredited)
writer = Clarence Aaron "Tod" Robbins and Waldemar Young
starring = Lon Chaney
Mae Busch
Matt Moore
Victor McLaglen
Harry Earles
Matthew Earles
Edward Connelly
William Humphrey
E. Alyn Warren
cinematography = David Kesson
editing = Daniel Gray
distributor = MGM
released = flagicon|USA August 16, 1925
runtime = 86 minutes
country = USA
language = Silent film
English intertitles
website =
amg_id = 1:51854
imdb_id = 0016473

"The Unholy Three" is a 1925 melodrama silent film involving a crime spree, directed by Tod Browning. The film was remade in 1930 as a talkie.

In both the 1925 and the 1930 version, the roles of Professor Echo and Tweedledee are played by Lon Chaney and Harry Earles respectively.


Three sideshow performers leave their lives of captivity after a child is assaulted at one of their shows and become "The Unholy Three." Echo the ventriloquist assumes the role of Mrs. O'Grady, a kindly old grandmother, who runs a bird shop. Tweedledee, "The Twenty Inch Man," becomes her grandchild, and Hercules (played by Victor McLaglen) is their assistant. Soon an incredible crime wave is launched from their little store.

Convincingly disguised as a little old lady, Echo and his two carnival cohorts perform a series of Park Avenue robberies. Echo's sweetheart Rosie (played by Mae Busch) plays along with the Unholy Three but changes her mind when their latest burglary, which ended in murder, threatens to send an innocent man (who is also Rosie's Lover) to the electric chair.

Production Notes

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 chimpanzee who was made to appear gigantic with camera trickery 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 midget 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 seem as though the Ape is gigantic. (In the 1930 remake the ape is played by a man in a costume.)


Lon Chaney ... Professor Echo, the ventriloquist, aka Mrs. 'Granny' O'Grady
Mae Busch ... Rosie O'Grady
Matt Moore ... Hector MacDonald
Victor McLaglen ... Hercules, the strongman
Harry Earles ... Tweedledee, the dwarf, aka Little Willie
Matthew Betz ... Detective Regan
Edward Connelly ... The judge
William Humphrey ... Defense attorney (billed as William Humphreys)
E. Alyn Warren ... Prosecuting attorney (billed as A.E. Warren)

External links


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