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 ... See full summary »
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 »
Mary Rutledge arrives from the east, finds her fiance dead, and goes to work at the roulette wheel of Louis Charnalis' Bella Donna, a rowdy gambling house in San Francisco in the 1850s. She... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Former millionaire B.J. Nolan is useless with money, having lost most of his fortune on crazy schemes. His son, Kenneth, has the opposite problem thanks to good sense and a large ... See full summary »
John G. Blystone
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The play was partly inspired by an actual case in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1810, "Miss Pirie and Miss Woods vs. Dame Cumming Gordon." Two school teachers, Jane Pirie and Marianne Woods, were falsely accused of having a lesbian affair by a pupil, Jane Gordon. Under the influence of Jane's grandmother, Dame Cumming Gordon, the school's students were removed by their parents and the school was shut down. Pirie and Woods filed a libel suit against Dame Cumming Gordon, and won the case, but given the destruction of their lives and standing in the community, it was considered a hollow victory. See more »
During Oberon and McCrea's engagement, the cake in Oberon's hand keeps changing from chocolate to white between shots. See more »
Dr. Joseph 'Joe' Cardin:
When three people come to you with their lives spread out on a table for you to cut to pieces, then the only honest thing for you to do is to give them a chance to come out whole.
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"These Three" is an absorbing film that somehow manages to retain its integrity despite being different from the play, "The Children's Hour," on which it is based. Having seen the later film, "The Children's Hour," about two teachers accused of lesbianism, I wondered how the 1936 film would measure up. The answer: Brilliantly.
Part of the reason for this is, as Lilliam Hellman, the playwright herself stated - the play isn't really about lesbianism, it's about a children's lie. And the vicious, destructive lie of a child is still central here, though now it concerns the supposed affair of Miriam Hopkins and Joel McCrea, who is engaged to marry Merle Oberon, Hopkins' partner in a girls school. Another reason for the film's success is the flawless direction by William Wyler, and last but not least, a sympathetic trio. Hopkins is a standout with her strong, passionate performance.
Bonita Granville, the bad seed, is such an evil, blackmailing brat, that I'm sure when 1936 audiences saw Margaret Hamilton slap her, they broke into applause. I nearly did, and I was watching it alone! It's an unrelenting performance, though she's such a walking horror show, it's remarkable anyone believed her in her "earnest" moments, which were calculated, as only a monster's can be! Highly recommended.
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