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Three on a Match (1932)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,853 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 19 critic

Although Vivian Revere is seemingly the most successful of a trio of reunited schoolmates, she throws it away by descending into a life of debauchery and drugs.

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(screen play), (story), 1 more credit »
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Airs Sat. Sep. 27, 1:00 AM on TCM

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Title: Three on a Match (1932)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Virginia Davis ...
...
...
Vivian Revere as a Child (as Dawn O'Day)
...
Betty Carse ...
...
Warren William ...
Robert Kirkwood
...
Michael Loftus
...
Harve
...
Dick
...
Ace
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Storyline

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 <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hans hustrus brott  »

Box Office

Budget:

$444,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Ruth Wescott's name is misspelled Westcott in the opening titles. See more »

Quotes

Mary Keaton, aka Mary Bernard: You're a fool, Vivian. Take it from someone who's been one.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Bogart: The Untold Story (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Smiles
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Lee S. Roberts
Played as background to introduce the year 1919
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fast-moving and somewhat racy
6 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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