Wonderfully bizarre character-wise, as anything Tod Browning can be, but the story and pacing leave a lot to be desired (perhaps a shorter running time would have been an improvement, who knows). One of the more sentimental films from Browning, but Chaney's excellent performance in my book is always enough to like any movie.
This movie is quite good in parts but suffers a bit from bad pacing. This was one of Browning's early efforts and he clearly is still learning the trade. However, this is a good prelude to his work with Freaks and Chaney and Earles play off each other well. This is not a bad film really in any way, just shows its age at times, where other Chaney films from the same era do not. Worth watching. 3.5 stars
So we have here the unmarried couple Chaney/Busch whose only child is a puppet, a ventriloquist who disguises himself as an old woman and a midget miming a baby. We finally also have an Hercules fearing a chimpanzee (it was maybe supposed to be a gorilla, who knows?). Welcome to Tod Browning's wonderful world! 'The Unholy Three' was one of the first MGM production ever. Highly recommended.
Orginal silent version from director Tod Browning that serves as a showcase for the talents of Lon Chaney. Browning's first taste of carnies, 'freaks', and con men presented in a tight little story that is quite thrilling. A little creaky with age but still a satisfying thriller. First time seeing this one.
Along with Browning's The Unknown (1927) and Freaks (1932), The Unholy Three makes up a loose trilogy of films dealing with the director's beloved circus carnys. And while it begins with the director's trademark in cruelty and the bizarre (strong men, chislers and rubes), the film eventually reveals an unexpected tenderness as Chaney, once again battered by unrequited love, finds redemption in self sacrifice.