7.3/10
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48 user 27 critic

Three on a Match (1932)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 29 October 1932 (USA)
Although Vivian Revere is seemingly the most successful of a trio of reunited schoolmates, she throws it away by descending into a life of debauchery and drugs.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Lucien Hubbard (screen play), Kubec Glasmon (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Blondell ... Mary Keaton
Warren William ... Robert Kirkwood
Ann Dvorak ... Vivian Revere
Bette Davis ... Ruth Wescott
Lyle Talbot ... Mike Loftus
Humphrey Bogart ... Harve
Patricia Ellis ... Linda
Sheila Terry ... Naomi
Grant Mitchell ... Mr. Gilmore
Glenda Farrell ... Vivian's Friend
Allen Jenkins ... Dick
Edward Arnold ... Ace
Frankie Darro ... Bobby
Clara Blandick ... Mrs. Keaton
Hale Hamilton ... Defense Attorney
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Storyline

Three women who were childhood schoolmates take different paths in life. Vivian marries a very wealthy lawyer and has an adorable boy. Mary, on the other hand, takes the hard road through reform school. After a superstitious faux pas, Vivian's luck turns. She strays from her steadfast husband to a life of debauchery and alcoholism. Meanwhile, Mary turns her life around and not only wins the heart of Vivian's ex-husband, but also becomes a loving step-mother to Vivian's only child. Then Vivian's worthless boyfriend makes a desperate move. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

3 on a Match See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$444,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Mervyn LeRoy disliked the acting job Bette Davis did in this film. She, in turn, hated his directing and called him a "hack," feeling that her talent was being wasted playing supporting roles. This rift came back to haunt LeRoy when Davis's star began to ascend. See more »

Goofs

Ruth Wescott's name is misspelled Westcott in the opening titles. See more »

Quotes

Miss Blazer: Children!
[Claps hands]
Miss Blazer: Quiet! Order! Now, ready: Look forward and not back. Look out and not in. Look up and not down. And lend a hand.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bogart: The Untold Story (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

National Emblem
(1902) (uncredited)
Music by Edwin Eugene Bagley
Played during opening montage when the suffrage headline is depicted
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fast-moving and somewhat racy
6 May 2006 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

The title is based on a saying that if three people share a match tragedy follows.

Story of three woman--Mary (Joan Blondell), Vivian (Ann Dvorak) and Ruth (Bette Davis). They are friends in grade school but go their own separate ways--Mary ends up in jail, Vivian marries a wealthy husband and Ruth becomes a stenographer. Ten years after school they meet and share a match--and tragedy follows. There's a LOT more to this but I won't spoil it by giving it away.

This moves VERY quickly--so fast that you don't have time to question some of the more silly aspects of the story. It's also pretty potent (this was made pre-Code) with some fairly graphic scenes toward the end. The acting is basically pretty good except for Davis. She's pretty terrible--but this was one of her first films. Even she dismissed this in later years. Blondell however is great and Dvorak is just perfect. She has some difficult scenes to play and pulls them off. Lyle Talbot is also very good (and very handsome) as Michael. There's also a pre-stardom Humphrey Bogart (looking surprisingly young) playing a vicious hood.

Fast, racy and loads of fun. Just don't think about it too much afterwards. I give it an 8.


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