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Three Wise Girls (1932)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 9 February 1932 (USA)
Cassie moves to New York and jumps from one job to another until she lands a modeling gig.


William Beaudine


Wilson Collison (story "Blonde Baby"), Agnes Christine Johnston (adaptation) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Jean Harlow ... Cassie Barnes
Mae Clarke ... Gladys Kane
Walter Byron ... Jerry Dexter
Marie Prevost ... Dot
Andy Devine ... Jimmy Callahan - Chauffeur
Natalie Moorhead ... Ruth Dexter
Jameson Thomas ... Arthur Phelps
Lucy Beaumont ... Mrs. Barnes, Cassie's Mother
Kathrin Clare Ward Kathrin Clare Ward ... Mrs. Kane (as Clare Ward)
Robert Dudley ... Lem - the Druggist
Marcia Harris Marcia Harris ... Landlady
Walter Miller ... Manager of Drugstore
Armand Kaliz ... Andre


Cassie has come to New York and goes to work as a model where her friend Gladys works. She falls in love with wealthy young Jerry who is already married. Gladys has the same probelm with her man Phelps. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They scoffed at love - laughed at marriage - lived for luxury alone!


Comedy | Drama | Romance








Release Date:

9 February 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blonde Baby See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was the last film for which Jean Harlow was loaned out. All her remaining pictures were for her home studio, MGM. See more »


When Jerry's limo arrives at Cassie's apartment after their drive through Central Park, the camera's tripod legs, then a square studio light can be seen in reflection in the driver's door. See more »


Dot: You know, addressing envelopes ain't as tough as it's cracked up to be.
Cassie Barnes: No?
Dot: No! There's a lot of money in it. I doped the whole thing out a while ago. At a dollar and a half a thousand, if I sell an envelope to everybody in the United States, I'd make a hundred and fifty thousand dollars!
Cassie Barnes: That's swell. Have you figured out how long it's going to take you to do that?
Dot: Oh, um... About two-hundred and fifty years.
Cassie Barnes: I had no idea there was such a future in it.
See more »

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User Reviews

Cassie in the City
14 September 2013 | by lugonianSee all my reviews

THREE WISE GIRLS (Columbia, 1932), directed by William Beaudine, is early Jean Harlow, vintage Columbia, and routinely made story dealing with three young girls (usually three) attempting to make good in the Big City, and the men who take part in their personal lives. Adapted from the story, "Blonde Baby" by Wilson Collison, there's nobody legally blonder than the platinum blonde baby herself, Jean Harlow (1911-1937), making her second and final feature presentation for Columbia. Though PLATINUM BLONDE (1931), her initial film for Columbia, is known mostly as an early Frank Capra directed comedy, THREE WISE GIRLS offers nothing really outstanding for Harlow except the opportunity in handling a leading film role for the first time.

Of the THREE WISE GIRLS, the story introduces Cassie Barnes (Jean Harlow), a small town girl living at home with her mother (Lucy Beaumont) and earning a living as a soda jerker for Lem (Robert Dudley) at the Chillicoale Drug Store. Finding that her good friend, Gladys Kane, has found success away from the town they grew up in, Cassie decides to follow suit by quitting her job and moving to New York City. Sharing an place with Dot (Marie Prevost), who supports herself addressing envelopes in their apartment, Cassie, soon meets Jerry Wilson (Walter Byron), a drunken millionaire, at the drug store. After quitting her third soda jerking job since moving to the city, Jerry, in good faith, takes Cassie home in his limousine. Later, Cassie comes to meet with Gladys (Mae Clarke), whom she hasn't seen in three years, at her place of work. Learning of her unemployment situation, Gladys arranges her employer, Andre (Armand Kaliz) to use Cassie as one of the models at $60 a week. As Cassie becomes romantically involved with Jerry, her situation soon patterns that of Gladys' courtship with Arthur Phelps (Jameson Thomas), a rich banker with eyes on Cassie, while Dot takes an interest in Jerry's chauffeur, Barney Callahan (Andy Devine). Complications soon take its toll for one of the "three wise girls."

Brief (67 minutes), and to the point, THREE WISE GIRLS limits itself of character introduction and plot development by presenting what it needs to be addressed without any drawn-out scenes. For Jean Harlow's first starring role, she's not bad. Her acting technique would improve greatly following her move to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the studio where all her future films were made, with comedy being her finest contribution to the motion picture industry. Harlow's Cassie is sometimes sassy, but mostly on the serious side. She's unlucky when it comes to men as evidenced in the opening scene that has her walking home alone from a date she abandoned some miles down the road. She later loses her jobs due to some overly aggressive bosses. Regardless of setbacks, Cassie will not give up her dream to make it on her own. As for the co-stars, Mae Clarke, the secondary character living in a luxurious penthouse, comes off best with her natural flare of acting, with advise of not ending up "behind the eight ball"; while Marie Prevost, the third "wise girl," with little to do except being the funny member of the trio with the most common sense. Andy Devine, the one in chauffeur's uniform, is almost unrecognizable here, speaking only a few lines of dialog, none which have that recognizable trademark raspy voice for which he's known. Walter Byron, sometimes classified by film historians as a poor man's "Ronald Colman," does satisfactory work as a millionaire with his distrust for women, but would drift to uncredited parts by the end of the decade. Others in the cast include Natalie Moorehead (Rita Wilson), Katharine Clare Ward (Mrs. Kane), and Marcia Harris as the no-nonsense landlady.

With the exception of sporadic reissues in revival movie houses in New York City during the 1970s and 80s, THREE WISE GIRLS remains a seldom seen Harlow product. Though this time filler made its way on cable television's Turner Classic Movies July 10, 2009, one can only hope for revivals of other extremely rare Harlow finds as THE Saturday NIGHT KID (Paramount, 1929), GOLDIE (Fox, 1931) and THE IRON MAN (Universal, 1931) to become part of a television broadcast package. (**)

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