APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 19: The Unholy Three (1925)

The first of eight movies that Lon Chaney would make with director Tod Browing (The BlackbirdThe Road to MandalayLondon After MidnightThe UnknownThe Big CityWest of Zanzibar and Where East Is East are the others),

Tweedledee (Harry Earles) is a small man who leaves the circus when he assaults a young heckler and starts a riot. He’s joined by the incredibly strong Hercules (Victor McLaglen), Professor Echo (Chaney), a ventriloquist who becomes pet shop owner Mrs. O’Grady and his pickpocket girlfriend Rosie O’Grady (Mae Busch), who pretends to be his granddaughter.

Their new scam? Sell pets, deliver them and come back and steal everything. Their scheme brings in the innocent Hector McDonald (Matt Moore), who falls for Rosie. Browning was always using the duality of identity in his films and this one has every character nearly becoming someone else, but their crimes bind them.

The Unholy Three was remade in 1930, directed by Jack Conway. Chaney returned as Echo and Earles as Tweedledee, while Hercules would be played by Ivan Linow and Rosie by Lila Lee. This movie proved that Chaney was not only the Man of a Thousand Faces, but also the Man of A Thousand Voices. It’s the only film in his career where Chaney would speak.

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