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Three women who were childhood schoolmates take different paths in life. Vivian marries a very wealthy lawyer and has an adorable boy. Mary, on the other hand, takes the hard road through reform school. After a superstitious faux pas, Vivian's luck turns. She strays from her steadfast husband to a life of debauchery and alcoholism. Meanwhile, Mary turns her life around and not only wins the heart of Vivian's ex-husband, but also becomes a loving step-mother to Vivian's only child. Then Vivian's worthless boyfriend makes a desperate move. Written by
Gary Jackson <email@example.com>
The title refers to the superstition that if three people light their cigarettes with the same match, the third person will soon die. While some attribute the superstition to World War I, where it was sometimes thought that lighting a match long enough to light three cigarettes would attract enemy gunfire, it is now known that a match company "created" the superstition to cut down on sharing of matches and thus increase sales. See more »
Ruth Wescott's name is misspelled Westcott in the opening titles. See more »
To me you're the most marvelous girl in the world.
Vivian Revere Kirkwood:
But, you don't know me. We've only met tonight.
Oh, tonight, an hour, ten years, what's the difference? It's now that matters! Vivian, don't turn your back on life. Take it. Take it while you can.
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The title is based on a saying that if three people share a match tragedy follows.
Story of three woman--Mary (Joan Blondell), Vivian (Ann Dvorak) and Ruth (Bette Davis). They are friends in grade school but go their own separate ways--Mary ends up in jail, Vivian marries a wealthy husband and Ruth becomes a stenographer. Ten years after school they meet and share a match--and tragedy follows. There's a LOT more to this but I won't spoil it by giving it away.
This moves VERY quickly--so fast that you don't have time to question some of the more silly aspects of the story. It's also pretty potent (this was made pre-Code) with some fairly graphic scenes toward the end. The acting is basically pretty good except for Davis. She's pretty terrible--but this was one of her first films. Even she dismissed this in later years. Blondell however is great and Dvorak is just perfect. She has some difficult scenes to play and pulls them off. Lyle Talbot is also very good (and very handsome) as Michael. There's also a pre-stardom Humphrey Bogart (looking surprisingly young) playing a vicious hood.
Fast, racy and loads of fun. Just don't think about it too much afterwards. I give it an 8.
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