7.2/10
3,156
57 user 29 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 »
Reviews
Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A tenant farmer's son is caught in the middle of owner-tenant disputes when he falls for the plantation owner's seductive daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Bette Davis, Dorothy Jordan
Marked Woman (1937)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A crusading DA persuades a clip joint "party girl" to testify against her mobster boss after her innocent sister is accidentally murdered during one of his unsavory "parties".

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Lola Lane
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A socialite gets a divorce but can't keep out of her ex-husband's life.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Ruth Chatterton, George Brent, Bette Davis
Kid Galahad (1937)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Fight promoter Nick Donati grooms a bellhop as a future champ, but has second thoughts when the 'kid' falls for his sister.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman reporter tries to prove she's just as good as any man, but runs into trouble along the way.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Roscoe Karns
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis
Night Nurse (1931)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A nurse enlists the help of a petty criminal to foil a sinister plot to murder two children.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Joan Blondell
So Big! (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Following the death of Selena's father, she's offered a job as a teacher in a small town and a new chapter of her life begins.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Dickie Moore
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jailbird is hired to lead a dimwitted candidate's campaign for governor.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Warren William, Bette Davis, Guy Kibbee
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Brash hoodlum Tom Connors enters Sing Sing cocksure of himself and disrespectful toward authority, but his tough but compassionate warden changes him.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Arthur Byron
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Marianne falls in love with a con artist who has a hidden agenda.

Director: Hobart Henley
Stars: Conrad Nagel, Sidney Fox, Bette Davis
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

To share expenses, unemployed Alabama moves in with also unemployed Bill and Toodles. Bill is hired by a gangster's mistress and ultimately becomes the gangster's bodyguard. Alabama ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bette Davis, Frank McHugh

Photos

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Three on a Match was part of a promotion campaigned that Ivar Kreuger, the Swedish Match King used to sell more matches by cutting down on sharing. Warren William's next film was The Match King, which was loosely based on Krueger's life and suicide. Warren played the title role in that film. See more »

Goofs

Reflection of the boom microphone in the glass door of a shop that Mary exits before meeting Vivian on the street. See more »

Quotes

Mary Keaton, aka Mary Bernard: [At the State Reform School for girls, an inmate is at the piano singing the song "Diane", which includes the lyric "I'm in heaven when I see you smile"] Will ya stop remindin' me of heaven... when I'm so close to the other place?
Prisoner at Checkers Table: What's the matter Mary? Don't you like our little hotel?
Mary Keaton, aka Mary Bernard: Oh, I think it's swell. The ventilation is great, my room has a southern exposure, the rates are cheap, but somehow or other the atmosphere is too confining.
Fat Prisoner: Don't let it getcha down, kid. At least we don't have ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Humphrey Bogart: Behind the Legend (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Three on a Match
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Ted Fio Rito
Played during the opening credits and often throughout the picture
See more »

User Reviews

 
Will Hayes Would Have Loved This
15 October 2002 | by howdymaxSee all my reviews

Warner Bros had a reputation for pumping them out in the early 30's like chocolate covered Goobers at a Saturday Matinee. The story was typical Warner Bros from that time period.

Anne Dvorak, married to a successful lawyer and mother of a cute little 6 year old boy, becomes restless and looking for excitement, takes the boy and runs off with a small time hood. She eventually turns into a drunk (and worse). Her best friends (played by Joan Blondell and Bette Davis) give up on her and turn the boy over to his father. She continues to sink deeper and deeper into the filth as her husband divorces her and marries her best friend Joan. Meanwhile, her boyfriend, in a desperate attempt to pay off a gambling debt, kidnaps and holds the boy for ransom. The end is melodramatic and no real surprise, but it is exciting.

This film is interesting for a couple of reasons. It represents the kind of film that Warners did best in those years. Action, pathos, and the underworld. It is also interesting because of the casting. Although Humphrey Bogart plays a thug, he wasn't Mr Big in this one. He was just a run of the mill thug. Ann Dvorak seems to have switched characters with Bette Davis or Joan Blondell. She becomes more and more corrupt as the picture wears on until you are convinced she is beyond redemption. Bette and Joan, on the other hand, become more and more saintly until they are practically beatified by pictures end. I should mention the stock support players as well. Add Lyle Talbot (as the dispicable boyfriend), Edward Arnold (as Mr Big), Jack La Rue and Allen Jenkins (as the reliable hoods), and you have a Warner Bros winner.

Finally, there is the pre-code shenanigans. For a change, Joan Blondell doesn't sit on the edge of the bed, in her slip, rolling on a pair of stockings. Bette Davis does. By the way, this is the only picture I have ever seen where Bette Davis shamelessly displays her legs. And a fine set of legs at that. Look for the scene I just described as well as a scene at the beach. In another scene that would never have made it past the Hayes Office, Ann Dvorak comes out of the bedroom rubbing her nose when she realizes her son was kidnapped. Humphrey Bogart glances knowingly at the boys, rubs his nose, and sarcastically winks. A DOPE FIEND! There is a scene where she is passed out on the double bed. There is booze, cigarettes and ashtray on the bed, and a couple of cigars on the nightstand. In another scene she is splayed out on the couch with a drink in her hand, booze bottles all over the apartment when her little boy walks into the room. His face and clothes are filthy and he says he is hungry. She glances over at him, points to a tray of half eaten o'rdoevres, and says "eat that".

These little tidbits don't necessarily make it a great movie, but the cast and the story do.


66 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 57 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

3 on a Match See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed