7.1/10
1,149
32 user 9 critic

Three Little Words (1950)

Unrated | | Biography, Comedy, Musical | 12 July 1950 (USA)
The story of the successful Tin Pan Alley songwriting team of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby is told loosely and lightheartedly.

Director:

Writer:

(screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A successful but constantly-feuding husband and wife musical comedy team threatens to break up when the wife entertains an offer to become a serious actress.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Oscar Levant
Royal Wedding (1951)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Tom and Ellen Bowen are a brother and sister dance act whose show closes in New York. Their agent books them in London for the same period as the Royal Wedding. They travel by ship where ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Acunas, a rich Argentine family, have the tradition that the daughters have to get married in order, oldest first. When sister #1 gets married, sisters #3 and #4 put pressure on Maria, ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Adolphe Menjou
Summer Stock (1950)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A small-town farmer, down on her luck, finds her homestead invaded by a theatrical troupe invited to stay by her ne'er-do-well sister.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken
Carefree (1938)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Dr. Tony Flagg's friend, Steven, has problems in the relationship with his fiancee, Amanda, so he persuades her to visit Dr. Flagg. After some minor misunderstandings, she falls in love ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ralph Bellamy
Easter Parade (1948)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In squeaky-clean New York at the turn of the century, playboy Charlie Hill falls so much in love that he can walk on air. The object of his affections is beautiful Angela Bonfils, a mission... See full summary »

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Fred Astaire, Vera-Ellen, Marjorie Main
Certificate: Passed Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to gives him the name of his partner.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy
Roberta (1935)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Football player John Kent tags along as Huck Haines and the Wabash Indianians travel to an engagement in Paris, only to lose it immediately. John and company visit his aunt, owner of a posh... See full summary »

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The late, great impresario Florenz Ziegfeld looks down from heaven and ordains a new revue in his grand old style.

Directors: Lemuel Ayers, Roy Del Ruth, and 5 more credits »
Stars: William Powell, Judy Garland, Lucille Ball
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A budding romance between a ballet master and a tapdancer becomes complicated when rumours surface that they're already married.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
Biography | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This is the film version of Vernon and Irene Castle, sensational ballroom dancers prior to World War I.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edna May Oliver
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Eileen Percy
...
Charlie Kope
...
Terry Lordel
...
Mrs. Carter De Haven (as Gloria De Haven)
...
Himself
Harry Shannon ...
Clanahan
...
Helen Kane
Paul Harvey ...
Al Masters
Carleton Carpenter ...
Dan Healy
George Metkovich ...
Al Schacht
Harry Mendoza ...
Himself (as The Great Mendoza)
Edit

Storyline

Song-and-dance man Bert Kalmar can't continue his stage career after an injury for while, so he has to earn his money as a lyricst. Per chance he meets composer Harry Ruby and their first song is a hit. Ruby gets Kalmar to marry is former partner Jessie Brown, and Kalmar and Jessie prevent Ruby from getting married to the wrong girls. But due to the fact, that Ruby has caused a backer's withdrawal for a Kalmar play, they end their relation. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 July 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drei kleine Worte  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The dress worn by Gale Robbins in the "All Alone Monday" number is the same dress worn by Ann Miller in the "Girl on the Magazine Cover" in Easter Parade (1948). See more »

Goofs

When Harry hurts his hand playing baseball with the Washington Senators, his glove is knocked off of his left hand and he holds the index finger on that hand in obvious pain. Immediately afterward, when he is having difficulty playing the piano because of his injury, he has a bandage on his right index finger. See more »

Quotes

Bert Kalmar: I wouldn't write that song with you if you begged me.
Harry Ruby: Begged ya? I didn't even ask ya.
Bert Kalmar: I guess you just can't help it, Harry. I feel sorry for you.
Harry Ruby: Feel sorry for me? You must think I'm just a...
Bert Kalmar: I could tell you what I think of you in just three little words. You're a dope!
See more »

Connections

Featured in That's Entertainment, Part II (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Come on, Papa
Written by Harry Ruby, Edgar Leslie, Bert Kalmar
Sung by Vera-Ellen (dubbed by Anita Ellis)
Danced by Vera-Ellen, chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Looks Good, Feels Good
28 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a wonderful, feel-good movie with tons of songs, many of them appealing. There also were some great dancing scenes, no surprise there since Fred Astaire is one of the stars. Astaire and Vera-Ellen paired up well for those numbers.

This is one of the few films, even in the musicals, in which all the characters were nice people. In other words, there were no villains, no nasty people, which is refreshing to see now and then. It is supposedly the true-life account of songwriters Bert Kalmar (Astaire) and Harry Ruby (Red Skelton). Ruby is good at writing tunes, but not with lyrics. Kalmar supplies the lyrics and dance. Skelton also shows he had a decent singing voice.

The only unhappy moments in the movie are the squabbles between the two leading men, but that's not overdone and sometimes it's humorous. Skelton's character is the nicer of the two.

The leading ladies are wholesome-looking beautiful women. Vera-Ellen is a Shirley Jones-type pretty blonde with a great dancer's body. She's enjoyable to watch. Arlene Dahl, who was stunning, is the other leading female but her role was minor, unfortunately.

The movie is a good mixture of song, dance, comedy and drama and is an underrated film in that it that doesn't get a lot of publicity. Astaire was quoted as saying this was his favorite film. I agree. It's my favorite of his, too.


26 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Need Help with Actor... jaysea2
Vocal score musicone-1
Let's talk about the dancing!! judygenefan
Discuss Three Little Words (1950) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?