12 Days Of Christmas: The Unholy Three

The great Lon Chaney starred in both versions of The Unholy Three. The original 1925 version was directed by Tod Browning. Chaney starred as the ventriloquist Professor Echo and Harry Earles (Freaks) also stars in both versions as Tweedledee, The Twenty Inch Man.

Along with Victor McLaglen as Hercules, the strongman, the three all work in a sideshow. Tired of the life they open a pet store. Chaney is disguised as Mrs. O’Grady, a kindly old grandmother and Earles pretends to be her grandchild with the strong man as the son in law. They use the store as a front to case potential victims and then rob them. A heist is planned for Christmas Eve and it goes wrong ending with murder. The innocent clerk who works at the pet store is destined to take the fall for the trio.

The 1930 remake featured Chaney in his only talking role before he died of throat cancer. McLaglen couldn’t reprise his role in the remake because of his contract with Fox so the part was recast with Ivan Linow in the part. The silent version is better but the remake is the only chance to hear Chaney speak and in multiple voices as he did all the ventriloquism voices too.

The Unholy Three (1925)

The Unholy Three (1930)

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.