35 user 10 critic

These Three (1936)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 18 March 1936 (USA)
Two school teachers and the man they both love face ruin when a malicious student cooks up a lie.



(original story and screen play)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A wealthy but neurotic Southern belle finds herself trapped in the hideout of a gang of vicious bootleggers. The gang's leader lusts after her, and is determined not to let anything stand in the way of his having her.

Director: Stephen Roberts
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, William Gargan, Jack La Rue
Dodsworth (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas
Carrie (1952)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Carrie boards the train to Chicago with big ambitions. She gets a job stitching shoes and her sister's husband takes almost all of her pay for room and board. Then she injures a finger and ... See full summary »

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jennifer Jones, Miriam Hopkins
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A troublemaking student at a girls' school accuses two teachers of being lesbians.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A naive girl just out of a cloistered orphanage finds that being a 'good fairy' to strangers makes life awfully complicated.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Margaret Sullavan, Herbert Marshall, Frank Morgan
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Kitty Vane, Alan Trent, and Gerald Shannon have been inseparable friends since childhood. Kitty has always known she would marry one of them, but has waited until the beginning of World War... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Fredric March, Merle Oberon, Herbert Marshall
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In post-war Cape Breton, a doctor's efforts to tutor a deaf/mute woman are undermined when she is raped, and the resulting pregnancy causes scandal to swirl.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Bea Pullman and her daughter Jessie have had a hard time making ends meet since Bea's husband died. Help comes in the form of Delilah Johnson, who agrees to work as Bea's housekeeper in ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife. By diligence and frugality the two manage to enlarge their property. But ... See full summary »

Directors: Sidney Franklin, Victor Fleming, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Paul Muni, Luise Rainer, Walter Connolly
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In early 19th Century France an ex-convict who failed to report to parole is relentlessly pursued over a 20 year period by an obsessive policeman.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Cedric Hardwicke


Complete credited cast:
Catherine Doucet ...
Mrs. Lily Mortar (as Catharine Doucet)
Mary Anne Durkin ...
Joyce Walton (as Mary Ann Durkin)
Taxi Driver


This first film version of "The Children's Hour" uses a heterosexual triangle rather than the play's lesbian theme. The plot concerns schoolteachers Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, both of whom are in love with Dr. Joe Cardin. The malicious lie of one of their students involves all three in a scandal which disrupts all their lives. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

school | student | teacher | lie | scandal | See All (46) »


Were they the innocent victims of a whispering campaign? (Poster).


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




| | |

Release Date:

18 March 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Children's Hour  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lillian Hellman was satisfied with changes she had to make in the play for the film, since she felt the central issue of the play was the malicious result of the gossip rather than the gossip itself. See more »


Before Mrs. Tilford's maid slaps Mary (Bonita Granville) in one of the final scenes of the film, she grabs the girl and says, "Bonita, come here." See more »


Martha Dobie: Yours, your very own. To live with the rest of your life. There won't be a move she makes or a thing she says that won't frighten you.
Mrs. Amelia Tilford: Yes. And that will be my punishment.
See more »


Featured in American Masters: Directed by William Wyler (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Cruel and Heartbreaking Story about the Destructive Power of a Lie
12 June 2014 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Karen Wright (Merle Oberon) and Martha Dobie (Miriam Hopkins) are best friends since college. When they graduate, they decide to move to Lancet to the farm that Karen has inherited from her grandmother to build a boarding school for girls. On the arrival, they meet Dr. Joseph Cardin (Joel McCrea) and he helps them to restore the farmhouse working hard. One day Karen meets the influent Mrs. Amelia Tilford (Alma Kruger) that helps them to get students including her spoiled granddaughter Mary Tilford (Bonita Granville). Out of the blue, Martha's arrogant aunt Lily Mortar (Catharine Doucet) arrives at the school and offers to give classes. Meanwhile Joseph proposes Karen and they are engaged to each other.

When the spiteful and compulsive liar Mary, who is a bad influence to the other girls, is punished by Karen after telling a lie, Martha has an argument with her snoopy aunt Lily in another room. Lily accuses Martha of being in love with Joseph and having encountered him in her room. Mary's roommate Rosalie Wells (Marcia Mae Jones) overhears the argument and tells Mary what Mrs. Mortar had said about her niece. The malicious Mary accuses Martha of being the lover of Joseph to her grandmother and Amelia spreads the gossip to the parents of the students that withdraw them from the school. Karen and Martha lose a lawsuit against Amelia and have their lives disrupted with the scandal. Further, Karen calls off her engagement with Joe since she is not sure that he is telling the truth.

"These Three" is a cruel and heartbreaking story that shows how destructive the power of a lie may be. William Wyler is among my favorite directors and this film is a little gem with a magnificent screenplay. In 1961, he remade this movie changing the title to "The Children's Hour" and using the theme of lesbianism instead of a triangle of love, and a tragic ending. Both movies are worthwhile watching and it is hard to pointy out which version is the better. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Infâmia 1936" ("Infamy 1936")

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Vote for These Three to be released on DVD Miz_Zeffie
DVD? spboschi
On TCM June 6, 2009 dautkomm
Classy Grade A Drama noname1479
Oops -- wrong star! Bayside10
Discuss These Three (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: