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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.

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Writer:

(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:
...
...
...
Catherine Doucet ...
Mrs. Lily Mortar (as Catharine Doucet)
Alma Kruger ...
...
...
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  »

Company Credits

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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

The story was suggested to writer Lillian Hellman by her life partner Dashiell Hammett, who had found the story about the falsely accused school teachers in a book about true crime stories. 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

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 »

Connections

Referenced in One of the Hollywood Ten (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

So powerful, it triumphed over prudery
9 October 1999 | by See all my reviews

I saw (the movie of) "The Children's Hour," and had also read the play long before seeing "These Three." So I approached this film, when I was finally able to see it, with trepidation. After all, I knew that Lillian Hellman's Broadway smash (which centers on an allegation of lesbianism) had been altered and softened for more middle-American audiences.

Imagine my happy surprise to discover that the central conflict, the poison of a child's vindictive lie, remained compelling and believable even though the allegation was now pre-marital adultery instead of lesbian. When the play was filmed intact, again by William Wyler, the new movie had less to answer for to the original play than it did to this stunning early version.

See the two movies side by side, and you'll see how prudery and fear of censorship can produce a work that triumphs over the bluenoses.

I feel that "These Three" is in many ways the superior film. It is not as dark as "The Children," and only at the end does the lighter mood become suspect. It is also a more energetic film and feels less like a filmed stage play then "The Children's Hour" which treads the boards more theatrically, more obviously more stagily, and more talkily than it could every have been on stage.


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