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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.

Director:

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(original story and screen play)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. 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 ...
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Carmencita Johnson ...
Mary Anne Durkin ...
Joyce Walton (as Mary Ann Durkin)
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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  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of the lesbian theme of the play, the Hays office refused to allow the original title to be used, nor any mention of it onscreen or in publicity materials. Hence, Lillian Hellman is credited only for original story and screenplay. The movie was briefly titled "The Lie", before it was changed to "These Three." See more »

Goofs

During Oberon and McCrea's engagement, the cake in Oberon's hand keeps changing from chocolate to white between shots. See more »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rescued from the Closet (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Love & Lies
16 August 2003 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

Three innocent people have their lives shattered by malicious gossip.

THESE THREE is a vividly acted, excruciatingly dramatic look at how unrequited love & evil lies can undermine relationships and destroy reputations. Lillian Hellman authored the script (and altered the emotional bias) from her original play, The Children's Hour and director William Wyler created a film which never lets up in its emotional intensity. The viewer feels terribly for the three protagonists as they suffer unjustly and equally powerless to do anything about it.

Teachers Miriam Hopkins & Merle Oberon both love doctor Joel McCrea. One will win him, the other will hurt quietly. All three act at a perfect pitch, each performer complementing and supporting the other two, most especially when their characters experience the devastation created by a wicked student (played with chilling persuasion by Bonita Granville).

Two fine character actresses now in danger of being forgotten have important supporting roles. Catherine Doucet plays Hopkins' silly, vindictive aunt, a vain woman completely capable of doing the wrong thing every time. Alma Kruger plays Granville's wealthy grandmother, proud & patrician, she is seduced into doing much harm through her unwise love.

In a small role, Walter Brennan is a joy as a rustic taxi driver. Marcia Mae Jones is quite compelling as a child struggling against enormous iniquity. Marvelous Margaret Hamilton, as Kruger's no-nonsense hatchet-faced housekeeper, gets to deliver one of cinema's most satisfying face slaps.

Movie mavens will recognize an uncredited Greta Meyer as a Viennese waitress.


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