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Three Strangers (1946)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 January 1946 (USA)
Three strangers, each with a serious problem in their lives, share a sweepstakes ticket which they wished upon together before a Chinese idol.

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Writers:

John Huston (original screenplay), Howard Koch (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sydney Greenstreet ... Jerome K. Arbutny
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Crystal Shackleford
Peter Lorre ... Johnny West
Joan Lorring ... Icey Crane
Robert Shayne ... Bertram Fallon
Marjorie Riordan Marjorie Riordan ... Janet Elliott
Arthur Shields ... Prosecutor
Rosalind Ivan ... Lady Rhea Belladon
John Alvin ... Junior Clerk
Peter Whitney ... Timothy Delaney aka Gabby
Alan Napier ... David Shackleford
Clifford Brooke Clifford Brooke ... Senior Clerk
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Proctor
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Storyline

According to a legend, if three strangers gather before an idol of Kwan Yin (the Chinese goddess of fortune and destiny) on the night of the Chinese New Year and make a common wish, Kwan Yin will open her eyes and her heart and grant the wish. In London 1938 on the Chinese New Year, Crystal Shackleford has such an idol and decides to put the legend to the test. She picks two random strangers off the street, and puts the proposition to them. They decide that an ideal wish would be for a sweepstakes ticket they buy equal shares in to be a winner. After all, everyone needs money and a pot is very easy to divide equally, right? Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BREATHTAKING SUSPENSE - THRILLS! (original ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 January 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Men and a Girl See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Alfred Hitchcock showed early interest in directing. See more »

Goofs

When Johnny and Icey are talking in the bar, Johnny's glass goes from him setting it on the table with his left hand, to in the next shot the glass is off the table in his left hand down by his waist. See more »

Quotes

Johnny West: You do not believe in miracles, I see.
Jerome K. Arbutny: Hardly.
Johnny West: Ah, pardon me, sir, but then, ah, what do you believe in?
Jerome K. Arbutny: Who me? I believe in what I can see... what I can get my hands on.
Johnny West: And I believe that those things are not at all real. Who are we to say, uh, that the legend of Kwan Yin is any less real than the iron you tapped with your ring.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz in A Flat Major, Op. 39
(uncredited
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played on the piano by Johnny
See more »

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User Reviews

 
engrossing fare
29 June 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Three Strangers" has long been a favorite film of mine, with its fascinating reference to the statue of the goddess Kwan Yin, who, in Chinese legend, opens her eyes and grants a wish to three strangers on the Chinese New Year. Geraldine Fitzgerald, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre are the above-mentioned strangers, each with an agenda that can be easily pursued by money. So the wish is that their sweepstakes ticket win, and the agreement is that it then be entered into the horse race that follows.

Geraldine Fitzgerald's character seems sympathetic, but she reveals herself as quite obsessive and delusional as the film progresses. Greenstreet plays a crooked solicitor, and Lorre portrays a small time criminal - he's the most sympathetic character and, to my mind, gives the most memorable performance.

The film asks the question - did the meeting of the three strangers change their lives, or did events proceed as they would have? This is an unusual, absorbing, and entertaining film. I highly recommend it.


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