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These Three (1936)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  18 March 1936 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,439 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 6 critic

Two school teachers and the man they both love face ruin when a malicious student cooks up a lie.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
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Catherine Doucet ...
Mrs. Lily Mortar (as Catharine Doucet)
Alma Kruger ...
...
Marcia Mae Jones ...
Carmencita Johnson ...
Mary Anne Durkin ...
Joyce Walton (as Mary Ann Durkin)
...
...
Taxi Driver
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Storyline

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) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

18 March 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Children's Hour  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to one story, possibly apocryphal, when told that the play could not be filmed as the characters were lesbians Goldwyn is said to have exclaimed: "Well, we can make them Austrians!". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Karen Wright: [referring to Mary and Mrs. Amelia Tilford] The wicked very young... and the wicked very old.
See more »

Connections

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

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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")


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