The film was remade in 1930 as a talkie directed by Sam Conway. Chaney and Earles repeated their performances as Professor Echo and Tweedledee.
The Unholy Three (1925 film) L to R: Victor McLaglen, Harry Earles, Mae Busch, Lon Chaney.
Three performers leave a sideshow after Tweedledee (Harry Earles), a midget performer, assaults a young heckler and sparks a melee. The three join together in an “unholy” plan to become wealthy. Prof. Echo, the ventriloquist, assumes the role of Mrs. O’Grady, a kindly old grandmother, who runs a pet shop, while Tweedledee plays her grandchild. Hercules (Victor McLaglen), the strongman, works in the shop along with the unsuspecting Hector McDonald (Matt Moore). Echo’s girlfriend, pickpocket Rosie O’Grady (Mae Busch), pretends to be his granddaughter.
Using what they learn from delivering pets, the trio later commit burglaries, with their wealthy buyers as victims. On Christmas Eve, John Arlington (an uncredited Charles Wellesley) telephones to complain that the “talking” parrot (aided by Echo’s ventriloquism) he bought will not speak. When “Granny” O’Grady visits him to coax the bird into performing, “she” takes along grandson “Little Willie”. While there, they learn that a valuable ruby necklace is in the house. They decide to steal it that night. As Echo is too busy, the other two grow impatient and decide to go ahead without him.
The next day, Echo is furious to read in the newspaper that Arlington was killed and his three-year-old daughter badly injured in the robbery. Hercules shows no remorse whatsoever, relating how Arlington pleaded for his life. When a police investigator shows up at the shop, the trio become fearful and decide to frame Hector, hiding the jewelry in his room.
Meanwhile, Hector proposes to Rosie. She turns him down, but he overhears her crying after he leaves. To his joy, she confesses she loves him, but was ashamed of her shady past. When the police take him away, Rosie tells the trio that she will exonerate him, forcing them to abduct her and flee to a mountain cabin. Echo takes along his large pet ape (who terrifies Hercules).
In the spring, Hector is brought to trial. Rosie pleads with Echo to save Hector, promising to stay with him if he does. After Echo leaves for the city, Tweedledee overhears Hercules asking Rosie to run away with him (and the loot). Tweedledee releases the ape. Hercules kills Tweedledee right before the ape gets him.
At the trial, Echo agonizes over what to do, but finally rushes forward and confesses all. Both he and Hector are set free. When Rosie goes to Echo to keep her promise, he lies and says he was only kidding. He tells her to go to Hector. Echo returns to the sideshow, giving his spiel to the customers: “That’s all there is to life, friends, … a little laughter … a little tear.”
Lon Chaney as Prof. Echo, a.k.a. Mrs. O’Grady or “Granny”
In 1924, Universal’s vice-president Irving Thalberg departed to join Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios as production manager. Director Tod Browning followed him to M-G-M after producing a number of unimpressive independent films.
At M-G-M he proposed adapting author Tod Robbins’ The Unholy Three and Thalberg accommodated Browning by purchasing the rights and enlisting Lon Chaney to play the lead; Chaney may have requested that Browning direct, having worked with him effectively in 1921 on Universal’s Outside the Law starring Priscilla Dean.
With The Unholy Three, Thalberg, Browning and Chaney established a highly creative and profitable collaborative trio that produced seven more films at M-G-M, marking the zenith of both Browning’s and Chaney’s careers.
Browning arrived at M-G-M well-versed in the techniques of “trick photography.” The “ape” that dispatches the strongman Hector (Victor McLaglen) 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 Harry Earles (who played “Tweedledee” in the film) play Echo for these brief shots, and then cutting to Chaney, making it seem as though the ape is gigantic. (In the 1930 remake, the ape was played by Charles Gemora.)
Release and reception
The Unholy Three
The Unholy Three enjoyed tremendous success, adding luster to Chaney’s reputation as “The Man of a Thousand Faces” and revealing Browning’s as a remarkable film stylist.
On August 15, 1925 The Billboard published a list of five short reviews for the movie. This featured such critics as Mordaunt Hall (Times), George Gerhard (Evening World), Richard Watts Jr. (Herald-Tribune), and W.R. (World).
The movie was such a success upon its debut that at its release at the New York Capitol Theater, it maintained a strong audience attendance for at least two weeks. Major Edward Bowes, who was the managing director at the time, took steps to ensure everyone who didn’t get to see the movie the first week of its viewing would get to by extending the movie’s stay. An article written about this event noted the movie as “acclaimed as the best crook drama on the screen and one of the most entertaining motion pictures ever made”, which speaks, along with its apparent popularity, for the movie’s quality.
Sherwood of Life magazine praised the movie for its photography and providing a more psychological horror film rather than relying on movie effects to scare its audience. Noted by Sherwood is how the film was shot great attention given to scenes as individual pieces rather than as parts of one greater project, causing continuity errors. This is explained by the writer as an acceptable outcome considering the overall quality. The review is concluded with Sherwood declaring The Unholy Three to be “the best picture of its kind since The Miracle Man.”
The Unholy Three was released for the first time on DVD by Warner Bros. Digital Distribution on October 26, 2010. The company would later re-release the film as a part of its 6-disc Lon Chaney: The Warner Archive Classics Collection on November 22, 2011, and on June 23, 2015.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 83% based on 6 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 6.8/10. Author and film critic Leonard Maltin gave the film two and a half out of four stars. Although Maltin noted that the film contained aspects that were less satisfactory, he commended its strong basic idea and Chaney’s performance.
As is common of a Tod Browning film, circus life and unusual bodies play a central role in this movie along with great use of trompe-l’œil optical illusion. Trompe-l’œil is exercised and played with as the illusion of Dr. Echo as “Mrs. O’Grady” and Tweedledee as “Little Willie”. The main plot of the movie revolves around the character’s abilities to pass themselves off convincingly as something they are not, an illusion the movie peels back and reasserts for both the other characters and for the audience themselves. Contrary to the usual use of this effect, Browning makes it a point to disillusion the audience and display the workings of the illusion to create a different sort of viewing stimulation.
In most Browning films, his opinion of the deformed and different becomes evident. The Unholy Three‘s plot plays directly with another of Browning’s favorite topics, dealing with identity, doubles, dual roles, and deformity. This film is unique in that the character Tweedledee is the only one of this group of that is played by a deformed character and is malicious in nature.
There is a rumor in Washington-DC: Trump/Rittenhouse 2024
Does Trump know the U.S. Constitution?
The Constitution lays out the qualifications for a vice president, and they’re the same as those required for the president. The vice president must have been born in the United States (or on U.S. soil abroad), must be at least 35 years old, and must have spent at least 14 years of his or her life in the United States.
Crowley has reached an agreement with Saunders International Ltd. to provide engineering, procurement, construction, and management (EPCM) services, as well as the construction of multiple bulk fuel storage tanks. The agreement is a vital component to enable Crowley’s fuel management and storage services in Darwin, Australia, serving U.S. military operations in the Pacific.
In September, the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency-Energy awarded Crowley the multi-year contract worth $192 million to receive, store, protect and ship aviation-grade JP-5 turbine fuel and commercial grade Jet A-1 fuel for military forces. Services will be provided at a bulk fuel storage facility in Darwin located in Australia’s Northern Territory. Saunders’ participation will support Crowley’s efforts to deliver important fuel storage services at Darwin to the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency-Energy and the nation’s service branches.
“We are pleased to be entering into this agreement with such a highly reputed firm as Saunders International to provide professional management and tank construction services,” said Sean Thomas, vice president, Crowley Solutions, the company’s government services business unit. “We value their proven industry expertise in Australia and look forward to working with them to deliver Crowley’s energy solutions.”
Sydney-based Saunders is a market leader in the construction of bulk liquid storage tanks over the past 70 years and has an extensive track record in the delivery of major tank construction projects. Saunders has successfully constructed nine bulk liquid storage tanks over the past 18 months in Australia, including two tanks for the Royal Australian Air Force base in Darwin. Two tanks are also being completed in the area for the Australian Navy at the nearby Larrakeyah Precinct.
“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract following the advisory services Saunders has provided over the past several months,” Saunders Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mark Benson said. “We have worked in a collaborative manner with Crowley to develop this project and during this time, we have developed a strong working relationship with Crowley, whose values and culture are closely aligned to Saunders.”
Airline to add 80% of the capacity it added for CES 2020
CHICAGO, Nov. 12, 2021 – In response to feedback from its business customers and an uptick in demand, United Airlines is expanding its schedule to make it easier for CES 2022 attendees to join the in-person show in Las Vegas. The airline is adding 14 new direct flights in early January between Las Vegas and San Jose, Calif., Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando, and is also adding 30 flights from its hub airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, and Washington D.C./Dulles. This represents a capacity increase of 37% compared to its usual January schedule in Las Vegas.
“The return of in-person conferences and events is a very positive sign in the pandemic recovery, and United is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this increase in demand,” said Ankit Gupta, senior vice president of Domestic Planning and United Express. “We’re adding about 80% of the capacity we did for CES in 2020, demonstrating that business travel is on the rebound and our customers are eager to reunite with clients and colleagues.”
Between Oct. 27 and Nov. 9, searches on United.com for flights to Las Vegas during CES 2022 were up 70% compared to the prior two-week period. And according to a recent survey of United’s business customers, nearly 20% say they expect to travel to meetings and conferences will exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
United will fly 81 flights into Las Vegas during the peak arrival days of January 3-4, and 109 flights on the peak departure days of January 8-10. New flights include:
8 direct flights from San Jose, Calif.
6 direct flights from Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Orlando
15 additional flights from San Francisco, and 9 flights on a larger aircraft
8 additional flights from Los Angeles, and 4 flights on a larger aircraft
5 additional flights from Washington D.C./Dulles
2 additional flights from New York/Newark
Tickets for all of these flights are available for sale now at United.com.
MSF and supporters deliver petition to White House demanding action to increase global access to COVID-19 vaccines
Washington, D.C., NOVEMBER 10, 2021—The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) delivered a petition to the White House today, demanding that the Biden administration take immediate action to increase global access to COVID-19 vaccines. While the US is expected to have 500 million excess doses by the end of the year, fewer than six percent of people in low-income countries have received even a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine—leaving millions at risk.
“We’re here to demand that the Biden administration do more to free the vaccine and help end this pandemic for everyone, everywhere,” said Avril Benoît, executive director of MSF-USA. “In the United States, we are talking about a return to normalcy while most of the world hasn’t even received a single dose. There’s no urgency or unified plan of action from the administration to ensure that these lifesaving vaccines reach everyone who needs them.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?creatorScreenName=MSF_USA&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1458881097450856448&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.doctorswithoutborders.org%2Fwhat-we-do%2Fnews-stories%2Fnews%2Fmsf-president-biden-free-vaccine-covid-19&sessionId=323e44c76767abfbb712994f32878d5f3353e2bc&siteScreenName=MSF_USA&theme=light&widgetsVersion=f001879%3A1634581029404&width=550px
The petition delivery to the White House was part of a larger public action in Lafayette Square, where MSF staff and supporters built a visual display to symbolize vaccines trapped in chains, with several people representing pharmaceutical corporations Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech and the World Trade Organization (WTO) “guarding” the vaccines.
MSF is calling on the Biden administration to take these steps immediately to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines:
Demand Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna—which received significant US taxpayer funding to develop COVID-19 mRNA vaccines—share the vaccine technology with the World Health Organization technology transfer hub in South Africa. This will allow more manufacturers to produce vaccines and boost the global supply.
Remain committed to and urge all countries to support the TRIPS waiver proposal at the WTO to waive intellectual property restrictions on all COVID-19 products during the pandemic.
The forecasted 2021 sales revenues of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are $26 billion and $18 billion, respectively.
Considering the estimated $2.5 billion of US public money that has gone into the development of mRNA vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have a public obligation to facilitate increased vaccine production and supply where the need for doses and manufacturing capacity is greatest. If these companies refuse, the US government should use the Defense Production Act to force them to share vaccine technology and know-how, said MSF.
“There was an all-hands-on-deck approach to developing these vaccines,” Benoît said. “The Biden administration needs to harness that same urgency to ensure that these vaccines are rolled out everywhere as soon as possible. That means taking bold action to share US vaccine doses, and it means putting pressure on pharmaceutical corporations so that global COVID-19 access is finally a reality.”
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