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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

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

Quotes

Ruth Wescott: [Referring to Vivian] Some people get all the luck.
Mary Keaton, aka Mary Bernard: [Musingly] I wonder.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Herman's Head: Three on a Match (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(1896) (uncredited)
Written by John Philip Sousa
Played by the school orchestra, Herman Bing conducting
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fresh, fast, surprising, excellent ride!
28 January 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Three on a Match (1932)

A tightly interwoven plot about three "types" of women, from their school days into adulthood, played out with snap and sizzle. This is one fast, loaded movie, playing loose with morals and fast with stereotypes, and playing against them at times. There is little more painful than a man or woman falling to ruins, and it's made so reasonable, so nearly exciting, and so really reprehensible it's a surprise and a cinematic thrill.

Yes, a terrific movie, and not just for 1932. The interplay between the lead women (including a tart young Bette Davis) is great, and as the plot moves into a full blooded crime film (with Warner Brothers knew how to make better than any of them), it really screams. Throw in Humphrey Bogart (a decade before Casablanca) and you have something you have to watch.

But these are the obvious reasons, the film buff draws. Watch lead actresses Joan Blondell and Ann Dvorak for their sheer ability, and their likability. And for how they can be themselves before the code kicked in in two years. Mervin Leroy is a great director, of course (the same year he did the incomparable I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang) and seeing his range and control is a treat. Don't miss it. Just an hour long, too.


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