6.9/10
1,502
34 user 11 critic

Three Little Words (1950)

Passed | | Biography, Comedy, Musical | 12 July 1950 (USA)
The story of the successful Tin Pan Alley songwriting team of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby is told loosely and lightheartedly.

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writer:

George Wells (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Bert Kalmar
Red Skelton ... Harry Ruby
Vera-Ellen ... Jessie Brown Kalmar
Arlene Dahl ... Eileen Percy
Keenan Wynn ... Charlie Kope
Gale Robbins ... Terry Lordel
Gloria DeHaven ... Mrs. Carter De Haven (as Gloria De Haven)
Phil Regan ... Phil Regan
Harry Shannon ... Clanahan
Debbie Reynolds ... Helen Kane
Paul Harvey ... Al Masters
Carleton Carpenter ... Dan Healy
George Metkovich George Metkovich ... Al Schacht
Harry Mendoza Harry Mendoza ... The Great Mendoza (as The Great Mendoza)
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Storyline

Song-and-dance man Bert Kalmar can't continue his stage career after an injury for a while, so he has to earn his money as a lyricist. Perchance he meets composer Harry Ruby and their first song is a hit. Ruby gets Kalmar to marry is former partner Jessie Brown, and Kalmar and Jessie prevent Ruby from getting married to the wrong girls. But due to the fact that Ruby has caused a backer's withdrawal for a Kalmar play, they end their relation. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drei kleine Worte See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,470,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Mrs. Carter DeHaven, a Broadway star, introduced the song "Who's Sorry Now". In the film Gloria DeHaven recreates her mother singing it. See more »

Goofs

The stills of the Marx Brothers (three rather than four) outside the opening of Animal Crackers (Broadway, 1928) is actually from The Big Store. See more »

Quotes

Harry Ruby: Look, Bert, you're not going to let this thing lick you, are you? Cause if you do, it's gonna lick me too.
See more »

Connections

References Animal Crackers (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

I Love You So Much
(uncredited)
Written by Harry Ruby, Bert Kalmar
Sung by Arlene Dahl
See more »

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User Reviews

A Great Entertainment
27 November 2004 | by joseph952001See all my reviews

The first time I saw "Three Little Words" was when I was a teenager on vacation in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My Dad was not a fan of Red Skelton, but he endured the pain of it jut as he was subjected to watching Betty Hutton screaming with red-face in "Annie Get Your Gun", but as far as the movie "Three Little Words" goes, I loved it. Being a tap dancer myself, I could tune in quite well to a singing and dancing movie. This has to be considered one of Fred Astaires best movies he ever made. His dance numbers were created by Hermes Pan, thank God, because any film in which Astaire created his own dance sequences showed a very good reason why Astaire should let the others attempt this job. As a result, all the numbers are excellent, especially the dancing of he and Vera-Ellen in the "Thinking of You" number, and what about Gloria DeHaven? Here she is playing her own mother Mrs. Carter DeHaven. That must have been a thrill for her, and did she sing "Who's Sorry Now?" to perfection!

As far as this being Debbie Reynolds screen debut. Not so! Her film debut was in "The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady" filmed by Warner Brothers starring Gordon MacRae, Gene Nelson, and the best dancer Hollywood has ever had to offer - June Haver, but Haver's talent was always underestimated and not given the credit for being the fine performer that she was!

But, what can you say about "Three Little Words" except - sit back, get out the pop-corn and the soda's, relax and watch an excellent cast have a field day doing some of the finest singing, acting, dancing, that you will ever witness on the silver screen. It's just too bad that these old movies can't be seen on the large silver screen so that our younger generation can see what entertainment was, is, and always will be all about!

Don


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